Former N. Charleston business exec makes 1st appearance in Charleston federal court
A former business executive accused of illegally exporting goods to Iran made his first appearance in Charleston federal court this morning.
A judge granted travel conditions for Markos Baghdasarian, former president of North Charleston lubricant company Delfin Group USA. Baghdasarian was arraigned a few weeks ago in Atlanta, where authorities arrested him before he could board a flight to the United Arab Emirates.
The local hearing this morning only served to modify conditions of his bond. Baghdasarian and his attorney, Bart Daniels, declined to comment after the hearing.
He is accused of engaging in a scheme to ship $850,000 worth of aviation lubricating oils and polymers to buyers in Iran in defiance of sanctions, according to court documents. He allegedly used a proxy buyer in the United Arab Emirates to disguise the transactions. The buyer then shipped those goods straight to Iran, documents stated.
United States citizens and companies are barred from business dealings with Iran unless authorized by the U.S. Treasury Department. Baghdasarian didnít have that paperwork, authorities said,
Baghdasarian was placed on administrative leave from Delfin on May 14, according to company officials. John Gordon replaced him aspresident.
Delfin Group is a Russian-owned producer of synthetic motors oils located on a 42-acre compound on Virginia Avenue. Delfin bought the plant from Chevron Corp. in 2007 for $20 million and announced plans to invest $55 million in the facility. The enterprise was expected to create 160 jobs.
Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/allysonjbird.