Dan Schell vs. Libya and the US Government

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Date(s) - Wednesday, September 18, 2013
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa

Dan Schell vs. Libya and the US Government

The morning of July 10, 1993, Dan strolled out to the front of the house, picked up the Press Democrat on the driveway and headed back to the house. And there it was located on the left side of the front page.


Dan entered the house and spoke softly, “Nancy. Come here.” I know there is a problem when Dan addresses me softly. I rushed to him as he thrust the P.D. into my hands. There was a problem, A big problem. I barely breathed while I read the news article.

“A Santa Rosa businessman and two associates were indicted by a federal grand jury in San Francisco on Friday for allegedly violating a U.S. trade embargo by scheming to ship agricultural and irrigation equipment to Libya.”

“Daniel D. Schell, 62, will be arraigned July 27 on the charges which carry a maximum 60-year prison term and $2 million fine if convicted.”

According to paper a three-year investigation by the U.S Customs Service culminated in an eight count indictment naming Daniel D. Schell, owner of International Commercial Enterprises (I.C.E.), his associates, Johnny J. Jallad and Wallace L. Petersen agents of Agritech, an international agricultural equipment brokerage firm registered in Cyprus.

libya_pol93We were devastated to see Dan and his business associates charged and exposed in the Press Democrat. My mouth was dry. My head ached. My eyes watered. Then, we discussed the same questions over and over. “How could this be happening to us? What’s the next step? How do we find a lawyer knowledgeable about international law? What will be the cost? How will we afford it? How do we explain this to our 15-year-old son, Jake? Our family? Our friends?”

A few days later, Dan happened to be out in front of our home. A reporter from the P.D approached him attempting to interview him. Dan gruffly answered, “No comment.” He watched as the reporter walked from house to house knocking on doors. We were infuriated at the invasion of our privacy.

Meanwhile, Jallad and Petersen were in England. If they returned to the U.S., they would be indicted and their passports would be confiscated preventing them from conducting international business. Dan was facing charges alone.

Our minds worked at a frantic pace searching for answers. We had no immediate solutions. We were immobilized.

… come to the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa to hear the rest of the story!

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