Austin, Texas – – Three foreigners – one Russian citizen and two Bulgarian citizens – have been charged in connection with a system to procure sensitive radiation-hardened electrical circuits from the US and ship them to Russia without the required licenses.
The trio, 48-year-old Russian citizen Ilias Sabirov, 70-year-old Bulgarian citizen Dimitar Dimitrov, and 46-year-old Bulgarian citizen Milan Dimitrov, were charged with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), Export Control, Reform Law ( ECRA) and a Money Laundering Act.
The unsealed indictment alleges that the trio used Bulgarian company Multi Technology Integration Group EEOD (MTIG) to obtain controlled items from the US and send them to Russia. According to the US Export Control Act, the goods cannot be shipped to Russia without the permission of the US government, says the US Justice Department.
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According to the indictment, Sabirov is the head of two Russian companies – Cosmos Complect and OOO Sovtest Comp. – and controls MTIG. Both Dimitar Dimitrov and Milan Dimitrov worked for Sabirov at Cosmos Complect and MTIG.
In 2014, the defendants met with the supplier of the radiation-cured components in Austin and were informed that radiation-cured circuits could not be shipped to Russia due to trade restrictions in the United States, the indictment said. According to US law, Sabirov is said to have founded MTIG in Bulgaria and bought the electronic circuits it controls. The radiation-hardened properties of these circuits made them resistant to damage or malfunction in the harsh space environment. The export of the parts was controlled by the US government for precisely these reasons.
The parts were shipped to Bulgaria in 2015, and MTIG is said to have shipped them to Sabirov’s company in Russia soon after. OOO Sovtest Comp. Transfer of over $ 1 million to MTIG for the controlled US parts.
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During the same period, MTIG, allegedly at the direction of Sabirov, ordered over $ 1.7 million for other electronic components made by another US electronics manufacturer. MTIG bought these parts to fulfill part of its contract with OOO Sovtest Comp. Again, the parts were shipped from the USA to Bulgaria, where they were simply repackaged and shipped on to Russia.
At the end of 2018, an export control officer from the Ministry of Commerce asked Milan Dimitrov during a visit to MTIG to determine whether the radiation-cured components were still in MTIG’s possession in Bulgaria. Milan Dimitrov, among other things, fraudulently refused to send the components to Russia, says the DOJ.
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The indictment charges Sabirov, Dimitar Dimitrov and Milan Dimitrov with two charges relating to violations of the IEEPA and one charge of money laundering. In the indictment, Milan Dimitrov is also charged with a number of false statements to the government. Each count charged in the indictment provides for a prison sentence of up to 20 years after conviction.
In connection with the abolition of these fees, according to the DOJ, the Ministry of Commerce appoints Ilias Sabirov, Dimitar Dimitrov, Milan Dimitrov, Mariana Marinova Gargova, MTIG EOOD, Cosmos Complect and OOO Sovtest Comp. And add it to his Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List. Entry on the entity list constitutes a licensing requirement before goods can be exported from the United States to these persons or companies and establishes the presumption that no such license will be granted.
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The DOJ says the entity list identifies foreign parties who are prohibited from receiving some or all of the items that are subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) unless the exporter secures a license. These individuals are at greater risk of being distracted from weapons of mass destruction programs, terrorism, or other activities that are detrimental to US national security or foreign policy interests.
Commerce – Office of Export Enforcement may add a foreign party, such as an individual, corporation, research facility, or government organization, to the entity list to conduct activities that violate U.S. national security and / or foreign policy interests, according to the DOJ. In most cases, license exemptions for export, re-export or transfer (in-country) to a party are not available in the entity list of EAR-subject elements. Rather, a prior license is required, which is usually subject to a refusal policy.
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