Former Clark executive pleads guilty

A former vice president of Lexington-based Clark Material Handling Co. pleaded guilty Tuesday to lying to federal agents investigating alleged violations of the U.S. trade embargo with Iran.

Robert E. Quinn accepted a plea deal and was released until sentencing Nov. 6 in Washington, D.C.

Quinn is expected to receive probation or less than six months in prison, according to documents filed with the court.

Quinn's former boss at Clark, David Tatum, also pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and was placed on probation for 12 months.

On Dec. 28, 2004, federal agents searched Clark's headquarters and questioned employees about violations of the trade embargo.

Quinn said he had never coordinated shipments of Clark forklift parts to Iran or to a company in the United Arab Emirates that would forward them to Iran.

He admitted Tuesday in accepting the plea agreement that he had been involved in five such shipments in 2003.

In 2005, a jury convicted Quinn of one count of conspiracy and five counts of violating the embargo, and he was sentenced to 39 months in prison.

Another Clark employee, Michael Holland, was acquitted on the same charges.

In March, Quinn's conviction was overturned and a new trial ordered after it was discovered that U.S. attorneys had withheld an e-mail that would have helped Quinn's defense.

Prosecutors decided to offer the plea deal rather than have another trial.