Chinese Nationals Convicted of Illegally Exporting ITAR-Controlled Items to China

On May 17, 2010, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced that a federal jury in Massachusetts convicted Chinese nationals Zhen Zhou Wu (Wu) and Yufeng Wei (Wei) of conspiracy to violate U.S. export laws and illegally exporting electronic equipment from the U.S. to China on numerous occasions from 2004 to 2007. 

Evidence presented at trial showed that between April 2004 and June 2006 Wu and Wei illegally exported military electronic components, designated on the U.S. Munitions List (USML), to mainland China via Hong Kong. The defense articles that defendants exported are primarily used in military phased array radar, electronic warfare, military guidance systems, and military satellite communications. 

Also indicted was Chitron Electronics, Inc. (Chitron), a company created by Wu. Using Chitron, Wu targeted Chinese military factories and research institutes as customers of Chitron, including numerous institutes of the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, which is responsible for the procurement, development, and manufacture of electronics for the Chinese military. 

Based on the correspondence, Wu, Wei and other Chitron employees knew that exports of restricted parts were being shipped to Chinese customers without required export licenses. Wu instructed Wei and Chitron employees to never tell U.S. companies that parts were being exported overseas. Instead, U.S. companies were told to ship all ordered products to the Chitron office located in Waltham, Massachusetts. Upon receiving the products, Chitron employees forwarded them to Chitron's Shenzhen office using freight forwarders in Hong Kong. The shipments were done without the requisite Department of State and Department of Commerce export licenses. 

Wu and Wei both face up to 20 years imprisonment to be followed by three years supervised release and a $1 million fine. After serving their sentence, both will face deportation to China. 

Chitron faces up to a $1 million fine for each count in the indictment charging them with illegal export of U.S. Munitions List items and $500,000 for each count in the indictment charging them with illegal export of Commerce controlled electronics. Sentencing is scheduled for August 17, 2010.