Justice Department Takes Action Against Illicit Technology Transfer Schemes Benefiting China and Iran

Justice Department has announced charges and a recent arrest in two separate cases involving illicit technology transfers designed to benefit the governments of China and Iran. The charged individuals are implicated in sophisticated schemes aimed at unlawfully exporting sensitive technology, goods, and information in violation of U.S. law.

The Eastern District of New York has charged two Iranian nationals with conspiracy to export aerospace industry equipment to the Iranian government, violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). This case involves an alleged conspiracy to illegally export U.S. goods and technology without the required licenses.

Meanwhile, in the Central District of California, a man has been arrested for allegedly stealing trade secrets developed for the U.S. government. The stolen secrets were related to detecting nuclear missile launches and tracking ballistic and hypersonic missiles.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco, who initiated the Disruptive Technology Strike Force a year ago, commented, "We have arrested more than a dozen corporate executives, engineers, distributors, and other high-profile targets on charges that include sanctions and export control violations, and other offenses involving the unlawful transfer of sensitive information and technology. Today’s charges against three additional defendants for seeking to illegally transfer U.S. software and semiconductor technology with military applications to benefit Iran and China highlight the critical importance of our fight against this national security threat.”

FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate emphasized the FBI's commitment to holding accountable those who violate sanctions and provide sensitive technology to foreign adversaries. He stated, " Stealing U.S. trade secrets and technology, especially when it can be used for military purposes, will not be tolerated. We will continue to work closely with our partners in the Disruptive Technology Strike Force to stop such activity and protect the national security of the United States

Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department's National Security Division highlighted the Strike Force's success in disrupting criminal schemes related to sensitive technology smuggling. He said, "The cases announced today underscore the commitment of the Justice Department and our partners to disrupt illegal efforts to siphon off U.S. ingenuity and to safeguard American security and innovation." Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Matthew S. Axelrod emphasized the mission of the Disruptive Technology Strike Force. " In the just one year since the launch of the Disruptive Technology Strike Force, we’ve stood up over a dozen local investigative cells, opened scores of investigations, and brought criminal charges against more than a dozen individuals and companies associated with nation-state