Chinese language Citizen Charged on Legal Conspiracy to Export US Power Amplifiers to China | GRANDPA
This week, an indictment indicting Cheng Bo, also known as Joe Cheng, a 45-year-old national of the People’s Republic of China, was overturned of participating in a criminal conspiracy from 2012 to 2015 to violate U.S. export laws, by shipping US power amplifiers to China.
Cheng’s former employer, Avnet Asia Pte. Ltd., a Singapore company and global distributor of electronic components and related software, agreed to pay a US $ 1,508,000 fine to hold criminal liability for the conduct of its former employees, including Cheng regulate. Under a non-law enforcement agreement, Avnet Asia admitted responsibility for Cheng’s unlawful conspiracy to export controlled US goods with potential military uses to China, as well as the criminal conduct of another former employee who allegedly caused US goods illegally from 2007 to 2009 be sent to China and Iran without a license. This behavior violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) also announced today that Avnet Asia has agreed to pay an additional $ 1,721,000 under an administrative fine of $ 3,229,000 to address violations of export administration regulations.
“Avnet employees have repeatedly forged records to send export controlled goods to China with potential military uses,” said John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division. “What China cannot develop itself, it acquires illegally from others. This is another example of a proxy promoting China’s evil interests. “
“We will not stick to individuals or business associations who would try to damage our national security by illegally supplying coveted US goods with military applications for Iran or China,” said acting US attorney Michael R. Sherwin for the District of Columbia. “We will pursue evildoers no matter where they are in the world.”
“The People’s Republic of China is relentlessly pursuing US technology, much of which can be used for military purposes,” said Alan E. Kohler Jr., assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division. “The FBI is just as adamant about identification.” and stop those violating export controls while doing business with China. Let’s be clear that this is not the usual business. It is illegal and individuals and companies will pay a price for such violations. “
“The indictment, unsealed today, serves as a warning to those who are violating export control laws that are intended to protect our national and economic security,” said Michael F. Paul, a special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis office. “The deal announced today with Avnet Asia is years of hard work on one of the FBI’s top priorities – ending the illegal export of US technology to China. Regardless of their location, global companies have a responsibility to follow United States law when selling American technology. Penalties and civil sentences await companies and individuals who fail to comply with laws protecting sensitive US technology. “
“The Office of Export Enforcement continues to advocate enforcement of our country’s export control laws by investigating domestic and foreign companies that intentionally transfer sensitive dual-use goods from the US to banned end-users and nations without the required licenses or license exemptions,” said Acting Special Agent Aaron Tambrini of the Chicago Field Office of the DOC Office of Export Enforcement (DOC-OEE).
“The export of sensitive technology articles to China or elsewhere in the world is strictly regulated for good reason,” said special agent David A. Prince of the US immigration and customs authorities Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Los Angeles. “One of HSI’s top enforcement priorities is to prevent US military and dual-use products and sensitive technology from getting into the hands of those who might try to harm America or its interests. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to aggressively attack and investigate those who endanger the security of our nation – or the well-being of those who work to protect it. “
According to the indictment, unsealed today, Cheng was a sales account manager at Avnet Asia and worked as a sales rep for a Hong Kong-based client in which Cheng was involved. Cheng was filing on behalf of the customer to purchase US export controlled goods, including power amplifiers. Cheng led the US power amplifier maker to make false claims that its customer was using the power amplifiers in Hong Kong when Cheng actually knew the goods were being illegally shipped from Hong Kong to China.
Under the non-law enforcement agreement, Avnet Asia admitted that from 2012 to 2015, Cheng sent at least 18 separate shipments of export-controlled goods from the US to Hong Kong, knowing that the goods were later destined for China and that the value of those were illegal Exports was at least $ 814,000. Avnet Asia also admitted that another Singapore-based sales account manager violated U.S. export control laws and economic sanctions from 2007 to 2009. The Singapore-based Sales Account Manager helped two Singapore business organizations in their efforts to ship U.S. goods to Iran and China, including creating documents falsely stating that the goods were destined for Singapore only . The Singapore-based Sales Account Manager arranged for at least 29 separate Avnet Asia consignments to be exported from the US, knowing that the goods would later be shipped to Iran or China. The value of these goods was at least $ 347,000. Neither Avnet Asia nor anyone else applied for an export license from US government agencies.
If convicted, Cheng faces a prison sentence of up to 20 years and a fine of up to twice the value of the property involved in the illegal transactions. The facts alleged in the indictment are allegations and criminal defendants are presumed innocent until found guilty beyond any doubt.
The FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office, DOC-OEE’s Chicago Field Office and HSI Los Angeles are investigating the case. US Assistant Attorneys Michael J. Friedman and Thomas A. Gillice, and Justice Department Attorney General David C. Recker, represent the United States.