Charleston tech company and CEO plead guilty to 20 counts of wire fraud> Charleston Business Journal


A Charleston tech company and its CEO have both pleaded guilty to 20 counts of wire fraud.

The supplications of Micfo LLC, a Charleston-based tech company, and its CEO, Amir Golestan, came halfway to a federal lawsuit after prosecutors presented evidence that Golestan took millions by setting up fictitious people and businesses and selling Internet address rights that he fraudulently obtained, the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina said in a press release.

Thanks to his scheme, Golestan pocketed around $ 3.5 million, with a further $ 6.2 million awaiting him in receivership if he was not caught, the US attorney said.

On each count, Golestan faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, a fine of $ 250,000 and three years of supervision after imprisonment and restitution. Micfo faces a fine of up to $ 500,000 on each count.

“As many corporate fraud criminals often do, Golestan made the mistake of assuming that his scheme would go undetected,” Special Agent in charge of the FBI Field Office at Columbia, Susan Ferensic, said in a statement. communicated. “Make no mistake, the FBI and our local, state and federal partners will work tirelessly to uncover and prosecute the criminals who harm our Internet infrastructure. “

Golestan founded Micfo in Charleston in 1999, claiming to provide web hosting and other internet services.

Between February 2014 and May 2019, when Golestan and Micfo were indicted, Golestan created 10 different manufactured companies, called “chain partners”. Through these companies, Golestan obtained addressing rights to Internet Protocol version 4 addresses from the US Internet Number Registry, according to the press release. Like a mailing address, IPv4 addresses are digital labels used to identify computers on the network.

“Bad guys often avoid accountability by masking their criminal conduct with complicated business procedures or by operating in areas unknown to most people,” said Criminal Division chief Nathan Williams, who continued the ‘case alongside Assistant US Attorney Amy Bower, in a statement. “The world of Internet resources is one of those areas. However, this case shows that the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office, along with other partner agencies, are capable of detecting complex crimes and prosecuting corporate and executive criminals. “

District Judge Richard M. Gergel accepted the guilty pleas, but at time of printing he had not convicted Golestan.

The Acting United States Attorney, Mr. Rhett DeHart, especially thanked the FBI and ARIN, in particular ARIN Client Manager John Sweeting, General Counsel Michael Abejuela and their outside lawyers Steve Ryan and Sam Neel for McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

“Corporate and executive malfeasance can be difficult to spot and even more difficult to prosecute, and this case is a prime example of the success we can achieve despite this difficulty when working with our federal partners and agencies,” said DeHart in a press release. .

Contact Teri Errico Griffis at 843-849-3144.


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