WASHINGTON — Parthasarathy Sudarshan, 47, the owner of an international electronics business, was sentenced today in the District of Columbia to 35 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to illegally export controlled electronic components to government entities in India that participate in the development of ballistic missiles, space launch vehicles, and fighter jets.
The sentencing was announced by Patrick Rowan, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Jeffrey A. Taylor, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; Joseph Persichini, Jr., Assistant Director in Charge, FBI Washington Field Office; Darryl W. Jackson, Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement, U.S. Department of Commerce, and Julie Myers, Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
On March 13, 2008, Sudarshan, a resident of Simpsonville, South Carolina, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to the felony charge of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Export Administration Regulations; and to violate the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. Sudarshan was sentenced today by the Honorable Ricardo Urbina.
According to court documents filed by the government, Sudarshan did business as Cirrus Electronics ("Cirrus") and held himself out to be Cirrus’ CEO, Managing Director, and President and Group Head. Cirrus has offices in Simpsonville, South Carolina, Singapore, and Bangalore, India. Among the recipients of U.S. technology in this case were the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), an enterprise within the Department of Space of the Government of India, and Bharat Dynamics, Ltd. (BDL), an enterprise within the Ministry of Defence of the Government of India.
The U.S. government has determined that VSSC participates in India’s space launch vehicle program and that BDL participates in India’s development and production of ballistic missiles. As such, both VSSC and BDL are on the Department of Commerce’s Entity List and exports of U.S.-origin commodities to these entities are restricted and require prior authorization in the form of a license from the Department of Commerce.
Between 2002 and 2006, Sudarshan acquired electrical components with applications in missile guidance and firing systems in the United States for VSSC and BDL. In particular, in the case of at least two U.S. vendors, Sudarshan and others at Cirrus provided the U.S. companies with fraudulent certificates that claimed that the end-users of these electrical components were non-restricted entities in India, when, in fact, the items were for VSSC. There were no export licenses for any of the shipments to VSSC and BDL. To further conceal from the U.S. government that goods were going to entities in India on the Department of Commerce Entity List, Sudarshan would route the products through its Singapore office and then send the packages on to India.
In addition to supplying VSSC and BDL with components, Sudarshan acquired microprocessors for the Tejas, a fighter jet under development in India. The microprocessors were necessary for the navigation and weapons systems of the Tejas. Because the microprocessors are on the U.S. Munitions List, the State Department must license any export of the products. On two occasions in 2004 and 2006, Cirrus caused the shipment of a total of 500 microprocessors to the Aeronautical Development Establishment, an enterprise within the Ministry of Defence of the Government of India responsible for the development of the Tejas. There were no licenses for these shipments.
This investigation was conducted by the FBI; the Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jay I. Bratt and Anthony Asuncion. Assistant U.S. Attorney Max Cauthen of the District of South Carolina and Senior Trial Attorney Clifford I. Rones of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division also provided assistance on the case.