The feds arrested the CEO of a metal services company in New York Tuesday on charges of exporting a high-tech missile-grade metallic powder to Iran secretly through Turkey.
Erdal Kuyumcu, 44, helped conspire to obtain more than 1,000 pounds of the cobalt-nickel material used in missile production, nuclear activity and the aerospace industry, federal investigators claim. They say he received the powder from an unnamed American supplier.
Court documents show he sent the material to Turkey twice in violation of Treasury Department rules.
Kuyumcu used code words when discussing his plans, calling Iran the "Neighbor" in reference to its border with Turkey, investigators add.
"In circumventing U.S. law, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the defendant harmed our nation's security," Attorney General for National Security John Carlin said.
The defendant was set to face a judge in Brooklyn on Tuesday. The charges could send him to prison for up to 20 years if a court convicts him.
Kuyumcu, of Woodside, New York, is the CEO of Global Metallurgy LLC.