Turmoil Continues at Delfin


Delfin Group USA terminated company President John Gordon in late April. The lube blender had fired its previous president, Markos Baghdasarian, in September 2012 following his arrest in May last year on charges of exporting aviation oils in violation of a U.S. economic embargo in Iran.

Gordon confirmed to Lube Report that Delfin terminated him as president on April 25, with no advance notice or reason provided. He declined to comment beyond that. Gordon, who had been vice president at Delfin, was promoted to president in April 2012.

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The company hasnt yet named a new president, Delfin USA General Manager Billy Ackerman told Lube Report. Its an internal issue were dealing with, he said, when asked who is in charge at the company.

An industry source who works with Delfin told Lube Report that Delfin USAs Russian owners have taken over management decisions for Delfin USA.

The U.S. Department of Justice in May 2012 filed charges against Markos Baghdasarian, former Delfin president, alleging the sale and export of aviation oils and polymer valued at $850,000 to Iran in violation of U.S. imposed sanctions over Irans nuclear program. The government alleged that Baghdasarian from June 2010 through October 2011 engaged in prohibited transactions with customers in Iran, including Pars Oil, which is owned by the government of Iran. Baghdasarian pleaded guilty Dec. 4, 2012, in the U.S. District Court in Charleston, S.C. According to court documents, his sentencing is scheduled for June 12.

In September 2012, the U.S. Commerce Department decided not to renew a Temporary Denial Order imposed in February that year, which permitted Delfin to resume normal domestic and international trade, compliant with Export Administration Regulations and other applicable U.S. law. For more information, read the Oct. 3, 2012 Lube Report article.

Delfin USA is headquartered on a 42-acre site in North Charleston, South Carolina, which it purchased from Chevron Corp. in 2007.

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