Texas Men Get Prison for Selling Iranian Oil to China


Two Texas men were sentenced on Tuesday to 45 months in prison for their roles in a conspiracy to sell sanctioned Iranian oil to a buyer in China.

Zhenyu “Bill” Wang, 43, and Daniel Ray Lane, 42, were charged with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Court documents reveal that Wang, a Chinese citizen, and Lane, from McKinney, Texas, along with their co-conspirators, tried to hide the origins of the oil and facilitate the transaction. They obtained Antiguan passports and set up offshore bank accounts to receive the payment from the sale.

The DOJ stated that Wang communicated with potential buyers in China and arranged bribes for Chinese officials to enable the illegal sale. Lane agreed to launder the money through his business, Stack Royalties.

The scheme planned to start with a 500,000-barrel shipment of Iranian oil, with the intention to increase to one or two million barrels per month. If successful, Wang anticipated a profit of $1.5 million per 500,000-barrel shipment.

Wang and Lane admitted knowing that their scheme violated U.S. sanctions against Iran. Wang reportedly said, “I love sanctions to be honest with you, and the sanctions make everybody money.” Lane mentioned that “sanctions can always be massaged … there is always a way around it.”

Co-conspirator Nicholas Hovan was sentenced to 12 months and a day in prison in January, while Nicholas Fuchs and Robert Thwaites each received 10-month sentences.

Taylor Delandro
Taylor Delandro
Digital Reporter. Most recently, Delandro worked as a web producer for ABC7 Chicago. Prior to that, she was a morning show producer at WLBT-TV3 in Jackson, Mississippi. Delandro graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Delandro lives in Chicago with her fiancé.

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