Flynn associate arrested on illegal lobbying charges

Flynn associate arrested on illegal lobbying charges
FILE - In this Tuesday, July 10, 2018 file photo, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves federal courthouse in Washington, following a status hearing. Flynn is relaxed and hopeful even as the possibility of prison looms when he's sentenced in the Russia probe Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. The retired three-star general pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with the then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. during President Donald Trump's White House transition. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A one-time business partner of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has been arrested and charged with illegally lobbying to have a Turkish exile returned from the U.S.

Bijan Rafiekian (BEE’-zhan ra-FEE’-kee-in), who also goes by the name Bijan Kian, made an initial appearance Monday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

He is indicted on charges including failing to register as a foreign agent.

According to the indictment, Rafiekian was vice chairman of Flynn’s business group, the Flynn Intel Group. The two worked throughout 2016 to seek ways to have cleric Fethullah Gulen extradited from the U.S. to Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn) has accused Gulen of directing a failed coup.

Flynn is referred to in the indictment only as “Person A.”