Co-Director of Think Tank Indicted for Acting as Unregistered Foreign Agent, Trafficking in Arms, Violating U.S. Sanctions Against Iran, and Making False Statements to Federal Agents
Gal Luft, a Dual U.S.-Israeli Citizen, Allegedly Evaded FARA Registration While Working to Advance the Interests of China in the United States and Sought to Broker the Illicit Sale of Chinese Manufactured Weapons and Iranian Oil to China
According to court documents, Gal Luft, 57, is charged in an eight-count indictment with offenses related to wilfully failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), arms trafficking, Iranian sanctions violations and making false statements to federal agents. Luft was arrested on Feb. 17 in the Republic of Cyprus based on the charges in the indictment. Luft subsequently fled after being released on bail while extradition proceedings were pending and remains a fugitive.
According to the allegations contained in the indictment, for years, Luft conspired with others in an effort to act within the United States to advance the interests of the People’s Republic of China (China) as agents of China-based principals, without registering as foreign agents as required under U.S. law.
As part of this scheme, while serving as the co-director of a Maryland-based non-profit think tank, Luft agreed to covertly recruit and pay, on behalf of principals based in China, a former high-ranking U.S. government official (Individual-1), including in 2016 while the former official was an adviser to the then-President-elect, to publicly support certain policies with respect to China without Luft or Individual-1 filing a registration statement as an agent of a foreign principal with the Attorney General of the United States, in violation of FARA. Learn More /…