By Jim Forsyth
SAN ANTONIO | Thu Nov 1, 2012 5:05pm EDT
(Reuters) - British millionaire Christopher Tappin pleaded guilty in federal court in Texas on Thursday to charges of attempting to sell missile parts to Iran, prosecutors said.
Tappin, 66, from Orpington, Kent, who had previously pleaded not guilty, reversed that stance in federal court in El Paso as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors that calls for a sentence of 33 months in prison and a fine of more than $11,000, according to U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman.
Federal prosecutors say Tappin, a retired shipping magnate, and two other men sought to ship zinc/silver oxide batteries for Hawk Air Defense Missiles to Iran via the Netherlands.
One of the middlemen turned out to be an undercover U.S. customs agent.