On January 20, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Rudolf L. Cheung, age 57 and a resident of Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) in connection with the unlawful export of 55 military antennae from the U.S. to Singapore and Hong Kong.
Cheung serves as the head of the R&D Department at a private company that manufactures a wide variety of antennae, many of which have military applications and are used by defense contractors.
According to court documents, in June 2006, Cheung learned that export compliance at his company had blocked export of two types of antennae because the buyer in Singapore would not agree to fill out a U.S. government form attesting that the goods would not be transferred. The antennae are classified by the U.S. government as defense articles and require a Department of State export license.
Cheung then arranged for an individual outside his company to bypass the export controls and arrange for the antennae to be exported to Singapore. This co-conspirator, who operated his own company in Massachusetts, negotiated the purchase of the antennae with two companies in Singapore. Between July and September 2007, the co-conspirator purchased 55 military antennae from Cheung's company, which he then exported to the Singaporean company with addresses in both Singapore and Hong Kong.
Court documents allege that Cheung was aware that the purchases by the co-conspirator were intended for export from the U.S. and that these exports had previously been blocked by his export compliance manager, but took no action to stop the sale of these antennae from his company or their subsequent export from the U.S., even though he knew a license was required for such exports. Cheung did not attempt to obtain any license from the State Department.