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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Taiwan Citizen Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Export Missile Components from the U.S. to Iran

Yi-Lan Chen, aka Kevin Chen,40, a Taiwan passport holder, and his Taiwan corporation, Landstar Tech Company Limited, pleaded guilty today in Miami to charges of conspiring to illegally export dual-use commodities to Iran, announced David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Michael Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement; and Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Investigations. Chen appeared on behalf of himself and Landstar Tech in federal court today to announce their guilty pleas. Sentencing is scheduled for July 30, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan.

Chen pleaded guilty to all three counts filed against him, and Landstar Tech pleaded guilty to count 1 of the criminal information. Count 1 charges conspiracy to export and cause the export of commodities from the United States to the Islamic Republic of Iran, in violation of the embargo imposed upon that country by the United States and in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Counts 2 and 3 charge attempts to export and cause the export of commodities from the United States to the Islamic Republic of Iran, in violation of the U.S.-Iran Embargo and in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. On the conspiracy count, Chen faces a maximum statutory term of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million. Landstar Tech also faces a statutory maximum fine of $1 million.

According to documents filed with the court during the plea hearing, Chen, a Taiwan national who was residing in that country during the time of the acts charged in the information, by and through his corporation, Landstar Tech, communicated and coordinated with co-conspirators in the United States, Iran, Hong Kong and elsewhere and facilitated the attempted export of dual-use goods from the United States to Iran. In so doing, Chen communicated with and took requests for U.S. manufactured goods from customers in Iran. Chen and Landstar Tech then purchased those U.S.-manufactured goods from U.S. companies and misrepresented to those companies the ultimate end-user or consignee of the goods.

With respect to the particular items charged in the information, Chen made arrangements with a federal agent acting in an undercover capacity to have those U.S. goods hand-delivered by the undercover agent to Chen in Guam, a territory of the United States. Chen then planned to transport those goods back to Taiwan and then on to his customers in Iran. Chen and Landstar Tech also received payment for the purchase and shipment of the U.S. goods from his customers in Iran and then used funds received from the customers in Iran to pay the U.S. companies for those goods.

Specifically, Chen and Landstar Tech conspired to export and cause the export of and attempted to export and cause the export of 120 circular hermetic connectors (Model MIL-C-81703/Part No. 8403-7-50P) and 8,500 glass to metal seals of various item numbers. The circular hermetic connectors and the glass to metal seals were manufactured in the United States and are dual-use commodities. While the goods or technologies have commercial application, they also could make a significant contribution to the military or nuclear potential of other nations and could be detrimental to the foreign policy or national security of the United States.

Chen ultimately failed to deliver the circular hermetic connectors or the glass to metal seals to his customers in Iran due to the intervention of U.S. Department of Commerce agents. The agents seized the first attempted shipment of 60 glass to metal seals prior to their export from the United States. Agents from the Commerce Department, as well as from the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), arrested Chen in Guam before he took delivery of the 60 additional circular hermetic seals or the 8,500 glass to metal seals from a federal law enforcement agent acting in an undercover capacity.

Chen has been in federal custody since his arrest in February of this year and will remain in custody pending his sentencing.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement; and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Damian.

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