Enforcement

Alabama man Ray Hunt , pleaded guilty to conspiracy to export U.S.-origin goods to the Islamic Republic of Iran in violation of trade sanctions. Hunt, a naturalized US Citizen also known as Abdolrahman Hantoosh, is alleged to have conspired to export U.S.-origin parts used in the oil and gas industry, including control valves and oil tubing, through his Alabama-based company, Vega Tools LLC, to customers in Iran. The scheme transshipped the goods to Iran through Turkey and the UAE to evade U.S. sanctions.

A Russian national based in Hong Kong pleaded guilty to money laundering and smuggling charges for illicitly procuring dual-use, military-grade microelectronics for export to Russia, Members of the conspiracy procured these sensitive microelectronics by falsely representing to the U.S. distributors (who, in turn, are required to report to U.S. agencies) that the Hong Kong shell entity was sending the shipments to end users located in China, Hong Kong, and other countries outside of Russia for use in electron microscopes for medical research. In reality, the OLED micro-displays were destined for end users in Russia.

Two men pleaded guilty July 9 to conspiracy to commit export control violations for their roles in a global procurement scheme on behalf of sanctioned Russian companies, including Russian military companies.   Some of the electronic components shipped by the defendants were later found in seized Russian weapons platforms and signals intelligence equipment in Ukraine. Salimdzhon Nasriddinov, 53, a Brooklyn resident and dual citizen of Russia and Tajikistan, was arrested on Oct. 31 in Brooklyn.    Nikolay Goltsev, 38, of Montreal and an associate who pleaded guilty  in February were arrested at a hotel in Manhattan on Oct. 31 during a trip to New York to visit Nasriddinov.

Following on the June 18 Indictments of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned a Mexico-based money launderer and China-based members of a money laundering organization with criminal links to the Sinaloa Cartel Monday.. The United States is working with Chinese authorities to target illicit financing networks, including those linked to the fentanyl trade. Chinese Money Laundering Organizations are now one of the key actors laundering money professionally in the United States and worldwide, and are rapidly becoming one of the most prominent money laundering threat actors facing the U.S. financial system.

Two people were arrested Tuesday morning for shipping controlled avionics from New Jersey to the United Arab Emirates without having obtained the required license and authorization. The defendants obtained an ADIRU, a component that supplies air data and inertial reference information to pilots’ electronic flight instrument system displays and attempted to ship it to another company in the UAE.

A Florida man has been indicted for attempting to export scientific equipment from the United States into Russia without a license. Kirill Gordei, 34, a citizen of Belarus and permanent resident of the U,S, allegedly falsely claimed that he was shipping a Thermo Fisher Scientific Orbitrap Exploris GC 240 Mass Spectrometer  to Uzbekistan when it was, in fact, destined for Russia.

The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Export Enforcement published an updated version of Don’t Let This Happen to You!, a compendium of case examples highlighting BIS criminal and administrative enforcement efforts. The publication was last updated in March 2024.

PetroChina International America Inc. (PCIA) has entered into an agreement to pay a fine and monetary forfeiture totaling $14.5 million for violations of U.S. export law, including cargos misclassified and/or undervalued at the time of export and then entered into AES.

Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced a $538,000 settlement with Mondo TV, S.p.a. an Italian animation company for 18 apparent violations of the North Korea Sanctions Regulations. Between May 2019 and November 2021, Mondo remitted approximately $537,939 to a Government of North Korea-owned studio in payment for outsourced animation work. In doing so, Mondo caused U.S. financial institutions to process wire transfers that contained the blocked property interests of the Government of North Korea and to export financial services to North Korea.

Unlicensed exports of fruit flies genetically modified to produce a subunit of a controlled toxin drew Indiana University a  penalty from the  Commerce Department.   As part of a settlement agreement, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued an order imposing an administrative penalty on Indiana University (IU) related to exports by IU’s Bloomington Drosophila Stock Center (BDSC).  

A Canadian national and resident of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), pleaded guilty today to conspiring to send trade secrets that belonged to Tesla Motors. …

The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has imposed a three-year denial order against a Portland, Oregon, package forwarding service prohibiting the firm from from participating in all exports under BIS jurisdiction from the United States. “If a forwarding company – with an entire business model based on exports – fails to implement an adequate compliance program even while subject to a suspended denial order, it should not be able to export items subject to the EAR from the United States,” said Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Matthew S. Axelrod.

Coordinator on Global Anti-Corruption Richard Nephew will travel to Montenegro, Lithuania, and Albania June 16-21. Mr. Nephew will visit Podgorica, Montenegro to meet with government officials and civil society representatives. He will then travel to Vilnius, Lithuania on June 18-19, to the opening plenary of the International Anti-Corruption Conference.

A Turkish aviation operator was fined for ferrying passengers into and out of Russia on a US manufactured Gulfstream executive jet without the requisite export license.   The Commerce Department (BIS)  imposed a civil penalty of $285,000 against Sapphire Havacilik San Ltd. STI (Sapphire), an aviation company headquartered in Ankara, Türkiye, to resolve violations of the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (ECRA). Although the Russian national passengers provided payment to Sapphire through third-party non-Russian charter brokers, such flights into Russia—which were arranged for the benefit of the Russian national or nationals on board—were nevertheless controlled by or under charter or lease by a Russian national.  As such, the relevant flights did not fall within license exception Aircraft, Vessels, and Spacecraft (AVS) and violated Section 764.2(a) of the ECRA.

Two men have been indicted and 17 snow machines seized as law enforcement broke up a scheme to ship the equipment to Russia by way of Hong Kong.   Sergey Nefedov, 40, of Anchorage, Alaska, and Mark Shumovich, 35, of Bellevue, Washington, were arrested June 11.  Both are Russian nationals and naturalized US Citizens. According to the indictment, Nefedov and Shumovich told freight forwarders that the snowmachines would be going to Hong Kong, where they knew that a license was not required for export, thereby causing a freight forwarder to provide false information to U.S. authorities by concealing the end user and destination of the snowmachines.

Two Texas men, both of whom were convicted at trial, were sentenced today to 45 months in prison for attempting to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), conspiracy to violate IEEPA and conspiracy to commit money laundering based on their attempt to transact in sanctioned petroleum and launder the proceeds. The conspirators planned to start their scheme with a 500,000-barrel shipment of Iranian oil, but intended to increase the shipments to one or two million barrels per month for a year or more.

A dual U.S.-Russian citizen pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to violate the Export Control Reform Act by exporting firearm parts, components, and ammunition to Russia without the required authorization. Dimitry Timashev, 58, coordinated with an associate in Russia to send weapon parts from the United States to Russia. In exchange, the associate paid tuition for Timashev’s daughter and rent for an apartment in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

A federal grand jury charged a New York man in a three-count indictment alleging he illegally shipped eastern box turtles and three-toed box turtles, both protected wildlife species, from the United States to China for the global pet trade black market.

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) imposed a civil penalty against Airbus DS Government Solutions Inc., a Texas-based satellite communications and networking systems company for shipping trade show materials to Kuwait certifying that the goods were not of Israeli origin and not manufactured by a company on the “Israeli Boycott Blacklist.” In November 2023 BIS announced  a civil penalty of $44,750 against Forta LLC (Forta), a manufacturer of synthetic reinforcement fibers, for similar trade show infractions

Ericsson announced the conclusion of the work and term of the independent compliance Monitor appointed by the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) in June of 2020 in connection with Ericsson’s 2019 Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) to resolve historical violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The March 2023 Plea Agreement with the DOJ that followed non-criminal breaches of the DPA has also expired as of June 2.

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