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Chinese National Sentenced for Illegal Export of Military Equipment

A Chinese national was sentenced on Wednesday to 97 months in prison after being convicted last year of illegally exporting US military equipment to China for several years, according to the US Department of Justice. The sentencing is the second within...

January 27, 2011
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After a five week trial, a jury in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts found Zhen Zhou Wu, a/k/a Alex Wu; Yufeng Wei, a/k/a Annie Wei; Bo Li and Chitron Electronics Inc., a corporation based in Shenzhen, China, with an office in Waltham, MA, guilty of conspiring to violate US export laws and illegally exporting electronic equipment from the United States to the Peoples' Republic of China, according to a press release by the Boston Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Department officials in Boston said that Zhen Zhou Wu, 46, traveled to the United States on an annual basis using business visas, and exported to China an array of goods.

Wu owned and controlled a company, Chitron Electronics Inc. of Waltham, MA, and used the company to procure restricted equipment from US suppliers and then export the goods to China through Hong Kong. Federal Prosecutors said Zhen traveled to the US every year using business visas as an owner of Chitron Electronics. Wu used the company to obtain military electronics components, sensitive electronics used in military phased-array radar, electronic warfare, fire control, military guidance and control equipment, missile systems, and satellite communications. Wu made illegal exports to China 14 times between 2004 and 2007, and filed false shipping documents with the US department of commerce from 2005 through 2007. He then lied in official documents when he shipped products to China through a Hong Kong front company for more than 10 years. Several Chinese military factories and military research institutes were among those to whom the defendant exported the equipment, officials stated.

Chitron Electronics is a US subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Shenzhen Chitron Electronics Company Ltd., which refused to appear in court. According to its web site, Chitron Electronics is one of the largest independent distributors of electronic components in China, founded in 1996 by Mr. Alex Wu, a Harvard M.A. graduate. The company headquarters in Shenzhen China, with subsidiaries in Boston, Hong Kong and Mianyang, as well as marketing offices in Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Currently, Chitron employs 250 people with an average age of 28; 65% of them have achieved bachelor degrees, while 60% of senior management have earned master degrees. With sales revenue from August 1, 2007 to July 31, 2008 over US$25 M, the company claims to stock more than 10,000 line items with value over US$40 M.

"This defendant and corporation violated US export laws and compromised our national security for more than a decade," said US attorney Carmen Ortiz. The Chinese business executive has been sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison for conspiring to export sensitive military products to military agencies in China. Zhen Zhou Wu was also ordered Wednesday to pay a fine of $15,000, a special assessment of $1,700 and forfeit $65,881.

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