Australian Man and His Firm Indicted in Alleged Plot to Export Restricted Military and Other U.S. Technology to Iran

March 1, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on February 29, 2012 released the following:

“WASHINGTON—An Australian man and his company have been indicted today by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia for conspiring to export sensitive military and other technology from the United States to Iran, including components with applications in missiles, drones, torpedoes, and helicopters.

The five-count indictment charges David Levick, 50, an Australian national, and his company, ICM Components Inc., located in Thorleigh, Australia, each with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Arms Export Control Act; as well as four counts of illegally exporting goods to an embargoed nation in violation of IEEPA; and forfeiture of at least $199,227.41.

The indictment was announced by Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; John J. McKenna, Special Agent in Charge of the Commerce Department’s Office of Export Enforcement Boston Field Office; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Kathryn Feeney, Resident Agent in Charge of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Resident Agency in New Haven, Connecticut; and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Boston.

Levick, who is the general manager of ICM Components, remains at large and is believed to be in Australia. If convicted, Levick faces a potential maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy count and 20 years in prison for each count of violating IEEPA.

According to the indictment, beginning as early as March 2007 and continuing through around March 15, 2009, Levick and ICM solicited purchase orders from a representative of a trading company in Iran for U.S.-origin aircraft parts and other goods. This person in Iran, referenced in the charges as “Iranian A,” also operated and controlled companies in Malaysia that acted as intermediaries for the Iranian trading company.

The indictment alleges that Levick and ICM then placed orders with U.S. companies on behalf of Iranian A for aircraft parts and other goods that Iranian A could not have directly purchased from the United States without U.S. government permission. Among the items the defendants allegedly sought to procure from the United States are the following:

  • VG-34 Series Miniature Vertical Gyroscopes. These are aerospace products used to measure precisely and/or maintain control of pitch and roll in applications such as helicopter flight systems, target drones, missiles, torpedoes, and remotely piloted vehicles. They are classified as defense articles by the U.S. government and may not be exported from the United States without a license from the State Department or exported to Iran without a license from the Treasury Department.
  • K2000 Series Servo Actuators designed for use on aircraft. The standard Servo Actuator is designed to be used for throttle, nose wheel steering, and most flight control surfaces. High-torque Servo Actuators are designed to be used for providing higher torque levels for applications such as flaps and landing gear retraction. These items are classified as defense articles by the U.S. government and may not be exported from the United States without a license from the State Department or exported to Iran without a license from the Treasury Department.
  • Precision Pressure Transducers. These are sensor devices that have a wide variety of applications in the avionics industry, among others, and can be used for altitude measurements, laboratory testing, measuring instrumentations, and recording barometric pressure. These items may not be exported to Iran without a license from the Treasury Department.
  • Emergency Floatation System Kits. These kits contained landing gear, float bags, composite cylinder, and a complete electrical installation kit. Such float kits were designed for use on Bell 206 helicopters to assist the helicopter when landing in either water or soft desert terrain. These items may not be exported to Iran without a license from the Treasury Department.
  • Shock Mounted Light Assemblies. These items are packages of lights and mounting equipment designed for high vibration use and which can be used on helicopters and other fixed wing aircraft. These items may not be exported to Iran without a license from the Treasury Department.

According to the charges, Levick and ICM, when necessary, used a broker in Florida to place orders for these goods with U.S. firms to conceal that they were intended for transshipment to Iran. The defendants also concealed the final end-use and end-users of the goods from manufacturers, distributors, shippers, and freight forwarders in the United States and elsewhere, as well as from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. To further conceal their efforts, the defendants structured payments between each other for the goods to avoid restrictions on Iranian financial institutions by other countries.

The indictment further alleges that Levick and ICM wired money to companies located in the United States as payment for these restricted goods. Levick, ICM, and other members of the conspiracy never obtained the required licenses from the Treasury or State Department for the export of any of these goods to Iran, according to the charges.

In addition to the conspiracy allegations, the indictment charges the defendants with exporting or attempting to export four specific shipments of goods from the United States to Iran in violation of IEEPA. These include a shipment of 10 shock mounted light assemblies on Jan. 27, 2007; a shipment of five precision pressure transducers on Dec. 20, 2007; a shipment of 10 shock mounted light assemblies on March 17, 2008; and a shipment of one emergency floatation system kit on June 24, 2008.

This investigation was jointly conducted by agents of the Department of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement, FBI, DCIS and ICE-HSI. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John W. Borchert and Ann Petalas of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia; and Trial Attorney Jonathan C. Poling of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains mere allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Assistant to U.S. Senator Indicted with Making Prohibited Communications

March 29, 2011

The former administrative assistant to a U.S. senator was charged today by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia with violating criminal conflict of interest laws, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen of the District of Columbia; and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

The indictment charges Douglas Hampton, 48, formerly of Las Vegas, with seven counts of violating the criminal conflict of interest laws. Hampton will be arraigned on March 31, 2011, in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

According to the indictment, from January 2007 to April 30, 2008, Hampton was employed as the administrative assistant to a U.S. senator. The administrative assistant and chief of staff positions were the most senior positions in the senator’s office. While he was serving as administrative assistant, Hampton allegedly signed a form certifying that he had completed training required by the Senate Select Committee on Ethics that included training on the one-year post-employment lobbying restrictions mandated by The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007.

The legislation was enacted by Congress for the purpose of providing greater transparency and accountability in both Houses by, among other things, slowing down the “revolving door” between congressional employment and post-employment lobbying activities. The legislation prohibits a senior Senate staffer, for a period of one year after termination of employment with the Senate, from knowingly making any communication to a Senate office with the intent to influence official actions on behalf of another person.

The indictment alleges that on May 1, 2008, Hampton left his employment with the U.S. senator and obtained employment as a government affairs consultant with an airline company and an energy company, both headquartered in Las Vegas.

Allegedly, between May 1, 2008, and May 1, 2009, while he was subject to The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act’s one-year restriction, Hampton made communications to staff members of the U.S. senator on behalf of the Las Vegas airline company and energy company, allegedly seeking action by the senator and the staff members in their official capacities.

The maximum penalty for each of the seven counts alleged in the indictment is five years in prison. Hampton also faces a maximum fine of $250,000 per count.

To view the FBI press release in its entirety, please click here.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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