Minnesota Company Fined $400,000 for Export Violations

MTS Systems Corp. of Eden Prairie, MN, pleaded guilty and was sentenced on March 12, 2008 in connection with submitting false export license applications to the U.S. Department of Commerce for proposed shipments to India.  (The DOJ news release can be found here.) MTS Systems Corp. was sentenced to two years probation and a $400,000 fine. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the court also ordered MTS to implement and maintain a model export compliance program and to sponsor an export compliance conference to be held at a future date.

The government alleged that MTS submitted a false export license application when it omitted any corporate knowledge of a possible nuclear end-use for seismic testing equipment to be shipped to India. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Darryl W. Jackson stated, "Omitting material information to a licensing official about the intended end-use of a controlled technology item is a serious offense. In this case, the omission clearly was an attempt to disguise the end-use of testing structural components of nuclear-power plants."

The case was the result of an investigation by BIS and ICE.