American Sentenced for Aiding Russian Military

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An American citizen convicted of exporting microelectronics to the Russian military, among other charges, has been sentenced to 135 months in prison, the Justice Department announced in a press release Tuesday.

Alexander Posobilov, 62, of Houston, Texas, was charged with conspiring to export and illegally exporting controlled microelectronics to Russia, as well as for conspiring to launder money.

The Justice Department outlined the scheme as follows:

Posobilov joined ARC in 2004, where he ascended to become the procurement manager and day-to-day director of the company. Between approximately October 2008 and October 2012, Posobilov managed a team of employees who worked to obtain advanced, technologically cutting-edge microelectronics from manufacturers and suppliers located within the U.S. and to export those high-tech goods to in Russia, while evading the government licensing system set up to control such exports.

These commodities have applications and are frequently used in a wide range of military systems, including radar and surveillance systems, missile guidance systems and detonation triggers. Russia was not capable of producing many of these sophisticated goods domestically. Between 2002 and 2012, ARC shipped approximately $50,000,000 worth of microelectronics and other technologies to Russia. ARC’s largest clients were certified suppliers of military equipment for the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord and U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers of the Eastern District of New York announced Posobilov’s punishment.

“With this sentence, Alexander Posobilov is being held accountable for evading export laws and illegally exporting American microelectronics to Russia for military use,” McCord said. “Export laws exist as an important part of our national security framework and protecting national assets from ending up in the hands of our potential adversaries is one of our highest priorities.”

U.S. Attorney Capers explained that “Posobilov helped lead a criminal operation that through lies and subterfuge profited handsomely from the unlawful sale and export of sophisticated American microelectronics for use by the Russian military. Today’s sentence shows that those who compromise the national security of the United States for their personal financial gain will face serious punishment.”

The investigation into Posobilov’s illegal activities was led by the FBI’s Houston Field Office and the Department of Commerce.

Posobilov was indicted along with ten other individuals and two corporations — ARC Electronics, Inc. and Apex Systems, L.L.C. Two of Posobilov’s co-conspirators were also convicted at trial. Five of the remaining accused individuals pleaded guilty, and three remain at large. ARC is no longer in business, and the Russian-based procurement firm, Apex failed to appear in court.

The microelectronics exported by Posobilov and his associates are useful in a wide range of military applications, including radar and surveillance systems, missile guidance systems, and detonation triggers. Russia did not have the capability to produce many of the sophisticated electronics domestically.

The recipients of the exported microelectronics included a research unit for the Russian FSB internal security agency, a Russian organization that produces air and missile defense systems, and another company that develops electronic warfare systems for the Russian Ministry of Defense.

H/T: The United States Department of Justice

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