On January 10, 2009, William Chai-Wai Tsu, vice president of Cheerway, Inc., was arrested on charges of illegally exporting "miniscule" integrated circuits (which have potential use in sophisticated communications and military radar systems) in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). Tsu, a resident of Beijing and a naturalized U.S. citizen, made his initial court appearance on Monday following his arrest, where his formal arraignment was scheduled for February 2, 2008.
The court documents allege that Tsu purchased the ICs from a San Jose-based distributor. Tsu allegedly told the distributor that the ICs would not be exported from the U.S. The Department of Justice states that Tsu's arrest was a result of investigation initiated by the agents of DOC and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who opened the probe after receiving a lead on Tsu's activities from their local counterparts in San Jose, California. The DOJ stated:
This case is the product of an investigation by the recently created Export and Anti-proliferation Global Law Enforcement (EAGLE) Task Force. The counter-proliferation task force was recently created by the United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of California in conjunction with federal law enforcement agencies to jointly investigate and combat the illegal exports of arms and sensitive technologies. Members of the EAGLE Task Force include the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export and Enforcement; ICE; the FBI; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the Diplomatic Security Service and the Transportation Security Administration.
If convicted, Tsu faces up to 20 years in prison.