The United States Justice Department has charged a Chinese national with federal charges for plotting over a three-year period to evade US laws and export power amplifier technology to China.
“An indictment was unsealed this week charging Cheng Bo, also known as Joe Cheng, a 45-year-old national of the People’s Republic of China, with participating in a criminal conspiracy from 2012-2015 to violate US export laws by shipping US power amplifiers to China,” the Justice Department release said.
Cheng’s former employer, Avnet Asia Pte., a Singapore-based company and global distributor of electronic components and software, agreed to pay the US government a financial penalty of USD 1,508,000 to settle a criminal liability for the conduct of its former employees, including Cheng, the release said.
“As part of a Non-Prosecution Agreement, Avnet Asia admitted responsibility for Cheng’s …conspiracy to ship export-controlled US goods with potential military applications to China and also for the criminal conduct of another former employee who, from 2007-2009, illegally caused US goods to be shipped to China and Iran,” further said.
“Avnet’s employees repeatedly falsified documentation in order to send export-controlled goods with potential military applications to China,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers of the National Security Division.
“What China cannot develop itself, it acquires illegally through others. This is yet another example of a proxy acting to further China’s malign interests.”
Alan E. Kohler, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division said, “The People’s Republic of China is relentless in its pursuit of U.S. technology, much of which can be used for military purposes.”
“The FBI is just as relentless in identifying and stopping those who violate export controls while doing business with China. Let us be clear, this is not business as usual. It is illegal and individuals and companies will pay a price for such violations.”