November 30, 2023

Two Texas men have been found guilty of attempting to sell Iranian petroleum in violation of US sanctions and of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Zhenyu Wang and Daniel Ray Lane could face up to 45 years in prison for their crimes. According to the Justice Department, the men planned to purchase petroleum from Iran, conceal its origins, and then sell it to a refinery in China. Lane was the president of Stack Royalties, a Texas-based company that sells oil and gas mineral rights. Lane’s attorney, Paul Hetznecker, argued that the case was based on undercover government agents offering Lane “millions of dollars in profits” to participate in the scheme. He called the case an example of government overreach and vowed to appeal the conviction. Two co-conspirators have already pleaded guilty, and the men are scheduled to be sentenced on February 29, 2024. The Justice Department’s National Security Division head, Matt Olsen, stated that the department will not tolerate those who violate US sanctions and endanger national security for personal gain. Despite sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump in 2018, China remains the world’s major importer of Iranian oil.