Two Texan Men Get More Than 3 Years in Prison for Conspiracy to Sell Iranian Oil to China

By Jace Dela Cruz

Jun 12, 2024 04:24 AM EDT

Two Texas men were sentenced to 45 months in prison for trying to sell Iranian oil to a refinery in China in violation of US sanctions and for conspiracy to commit money laundering, the US Justice Department announced on Tuesday. 

An Iranian flag flutters on board the Adrian Darya oil tanker, formerly known as Grace 1, off the coast of Gibraltar on August 18, 2019.
(Photo : JOHNNY BUGEJA/AFP via Getty Images)

Two Texas Men Convicted of Conspiracy to Sell Iranian Oil to China

In a statement, the department said Chinese citizen Zhenyu Wang, also known as Bill Wang of Texas, and Daniel Ray Lane of McKinney, Texas, schemed with co-conspirators to evade US economic sanctions against Iran from July 2019 to February 2020 by facilitating the purchase of sanctioned oil from Iran, masking its origins and then selling it to a Chinese refinery.

According to the Justice Department, Wang facilitated connections with Chinese buyers, negotiated contracts, and arranged bribe payments to Chinese officials. On the other hand, Lane reportedly assisted in laundering the proceeds from the illegal transactions through the Texas-based company Stack Royalties. 

According to Voice of America, Lane was president of Stack Royalties, which sells oil and gas mineral rights to investment funds and private equity groups.

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Sanctioned Iranian Oil

The defendants reportedly aimed to profit from shipping significant quantities of sanctioned Iranian oil, planning to start with a 500,000-barrel shipment and increase to one or two million barrels per month. 

Both individuals and three others were charged in 2020 in US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Court records showed that at least two of the other individuals involved have since pleaded guilty. 

READ MORE: US Imposes Sanctions on 4 Entities for Carrying Russian Oil Priced Above the Western Price Cap

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