Saratoga man sentenced to 3 months in prison for trafficking ivory


Jason Green, The Mercury News

Date Published

An antique dealer will serve three months behind bars and three months of home confinement for illegally trafficking elephant ivory, according to federal authorities.

Shahram “Ron” Roohparvar, 61, of Saratoga, received the sentence Wednesday as part of a plea agreement in which he admitted to falsifying documents in order to illegally sell and ship protected elephant ivory to international buyers. He also admitted to selling other protected wildlife, including leopard, helmeted hornbill, and red coral.

The sale of elephant ivory has been largely banned and highly regulated since 1976, according to federal authorities.

“Many species are teetering on the brink of extinction due to poaching to supply the illegal wildlife trade, and elephants, in particular, have become increasingly susceptible to this unlawful exploitation,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Special Agent in Charge Jill Birchell.

“This investigation demonstrates our commitment to bring to justice those who violate fish and wildlife laws for personal or commercial gain as well as those who drive the illegal trade nationally and internationally.”

According to an indictment filed in the case, Roohparvar illegally sold two ivory carvings and one ivory statuette to customers in New Zealand and Australia between 2012 and 2015. He advertised the products on eBay and the website of his business, the Coins and Antiques Gallery.

Roohparvar, who is scheduled to report to prison by Feb. 3, 2017, also was ordered to serve two years of supervised released, as well as pay a fine of $20,000 and restitution in the amount of $20,000.