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US court charges 11 people with conspiracy to export high-tech electronics to Russia

Published time: October 03, 2012 15:51
Edited time: October 04, 2012 23:09

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A US court has charged 11 people with participating in an alleged Russian network illegally exporting high-tech microelectronics and supplying them to Russian military and intel agencies. Defendants potentially face over 400 years in jail each.

­The defendants were arrested Tuesday; Wednesday the government is to seek their removal to the Eastern District of New York.

The FBI says the network has been operating through a Texas-based company, which pretended to produce traffic lights and other similar equipment, as well as through a Russian-based procurement firm.

Individual defendants:

­- Aleksandr Fishenko, 46
- Shavkat Abdullayev, 34
- Lyudmila Bagdikian, 58
- Anastasia Dyatlova, 38
- Viktoriya Klebanova, 37
- Sergey Klinov, 44
- Aleksandr Posobilov, 58
- Yuri Savin, 36
- Dmitry Shegurov, unknown
- Sevinj Taghiyeva, 32
- Svetalina Zagon, 31

Source: The FBI

The bureau alleges the US company was not involved in production, but had shipped approximately $50 million worth of microelectronics and other technology to Russia since 2002.

"The microelectronics allegedly exported to Russia are subject to strict government controls due to their potential use in a wide range of military systems, including radar and surveillance systems, weapons guidance systems, and detonation triggers," reads the FBI press release.

Aleksandr Fishenko, 46, an owner of the US and Russian companies, has also been charged as an unregistered Russian agent, accused of obtaining advanced electronics from American manufacturers and suppliers on behalf of the Russian government.

Fishenko's network reportedly sent to Russia products that the country cannot produce domestically, including analog-to-digital converters, static random access memory chips, certain types of microcontrollers and microprocessors.

According to the indictment, the company not only lied regarding the true nature of its operations but also concealed the end destination of the high-tech goods. Exports were put through without required licenses, most of them streaming through John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Besides unsealing the indictment, police also searched seven locations associated with the case Wednesday; five bank accounts belonging to Fishenko and his company were seized.

Among all the charges, most of the defendants are accused of one count of conspiring to violate and 21 counts of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). If found guilty, they may face over 400 years in jail, given the fact that the conspiracy charge may cost them five years of imprisonment, "20 years for each of the substantive IEEPA and AECA charges, and 20 years for the obstruction of justice charge."

In addition, Fishenko faces "a maximum term of incarceration of 20 years for conspiring to commit money laundering and 10 years for acting as an unregistered agent of the Russian government."

Fishenko's Arc Electronics Inc., Houston, and Apex System LLC, Moscow, face fines of up to $500,000 for the conspiracy count and "$1 million for each of the substantive IEEPA and AECA counts."