US citizen of Iranian descent sentenced to 4 years in prison for crimes related to attempted kidnapping plot of US journalist

An Iranian-American man was sentenced to four years in prison for attempting to kidnap an Iranian journalist living in the US.

US citizen of Iranian descent sentenced to 4 years in prison for crimes related to attempted kidnapping plot of US journalist


According to court documents, a US citizen with Iranian descent who lives in California, was sentenced Friday to four years' imprisonment for crimes related the attempted kidnapping of Masih Alinejad, an activist and journalist based in New York.

Niloufar Bhadorifar, 48 pleaded guilty to conspiring in December to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. This act gives the President 'the authority of dealing with unusual and exceptional threats to the National Security and Foreign Policy of the United States'.

In a press statement from the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, US Attorney Damian Williams stated that 'Niloufar Bhadorifar willfully broke sanctions and knowingly provided money to Iranian intelligence assets who were then engaged in a plan to kidnap a Iranian human rights activist in the United States, whom the Iranian government has been trying to silence since years.'

Bahadorifar and four Iranians were first arrested in 2021.

CNN reported that the other defendants are still at large and located in Iran. They were charged with conspiracies relating to kidnappings, sanctions violations and bank and wire fraud, as well as money laundering.

According to the court ruling, Bahadorifar was not charged with involvement in the kidnapping plan. Neither is the US government alleging that she knew of it or "participated" in it.

The government claims that she was not an unwitting party.

According to a court ruling, starting in about 2015, she offered illegal financial services and other services to Iranian nationals, entities, and the Iranian government, in exchange of payment. This included access to US financial systems and financial institutions.

According to court documents, she also arranged for 'at least' $476.100 worth of deposits in 2019, with two deposits exceeding $10,000.

According to the verdict, Bahadorifar, in addition to her prison sentence, was also sentenced to three-years of supervision.

Jeffrey Lichtman said that in an email sent to CNN on Saturday, he was disappointed with the sentence. However, he wrote that he understood the political pressure the judge felt to impose the sentence. He also noted the need to discourage similar conduct by Americans who might assist the Iranian terror government to evade sanctions.

Bahadorifar wasn't charged with involvement in the plot because she didn't know it was going to happen. Instead, she paid $670 to an investigator on the request of an old family member. The statement said that Iran's terror government is not only killing its own citizens in the street, but also committing acts of terrorism around the world. This time they even involved a single mom.

Alinejad stated in a video on Twitter, Friday, that Bahadorifar was in her face shortly after she appeared in federal court.

Alinejad said, "In my federal court statement, I said that it is beyond belief that anyone can claim to be unaware of the evil nature the Islamic Republic." The sentence is meant to remind the US government and Europeans that the Islamic Republic, which is a terrorist state, is still trying for a deal.