Foreign Corporation and its Managers Plead Guilty to Export Violations
AMA United Group Admits Violation of Arms Export Control Act; Principals Acknowledge Failure to File Shipping Records with U.S. Government Regarding Munitions Destined for Egypt
U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch of the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer Jr. of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) New York and Special Agent in Charge Craig W. Rupert of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (DCIS) Northeast Field Office announced that earlier today, AMA United Group, Malak Neseem Swares Boulos and Amged Kamel Yonan Tawdraus pleaded guilty at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, to violating U.S. export regulations in connection with the attempted shipment of munitions samples from New York City to Egypt. AMA United Group, an Egyptian procurement agent, entered a guilty plea to violating the Arms Export Control Act. Boulos and Tawdraus, Egyptian citizens and partners in AMA United Group, pleaded guilty to failing to file required export information relating to the international shipment of a landmine and multiple bomb bodies. According to court filings and facts presented during the plea proceeding, Boulos and Tawdraus were arrested after attempting to close a deal to acquire and export the items, which were included on the U.S. Munitions List and regulated by the U.S. Department of State.
“These defendants failed to comply with the strict regulations that govern the export of dangerous munitions,” said U.S. Attorney Lynch. “Today’s convictions should help ensure that those who refuse to follow these obligations should expect to face serious consequences, including individual and corporate penalties.” Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to HSI, DCIS and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York for its assistance.
“Boulos, Tawdraus and AMA United Group were involved in the illegal export of components vital to explosives in an aerial warhead,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “By purposefully evading U.S. law, including the Arms Export Control Act, the defendants could have done great harm to our nation’s security. I would like to thank the many offices involved in securing this plea agreement.”
“Investigating potential violations of the Arms Export Control Act is a top national security priority for HSI as it ensures military technology such as these landmines do not fall into the wrong hands” said Special Agent in Charge Parmer. “In this instance, our partnership with DCIS and the U.S. Attorney’s office sends a strong message that violating U.S. export laws will not be tolerated.”
“This investigation demonstrates the ongoing commitment that the Defense Criminal Investigative Service has to pursue individuals who are intent on acquiring and illegally exporting military grade munitions,” said Special Agent in Charge Rupert. “DCIS will continue to work with its law enforcement partners, such as HSI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, to methodically and successfully investigate these types of allegations and protect America’s Warfighters.”
Beginning in February 2011, the defendants began trying to obtain munitions items on behalf of AMA United Group’s client, a factory in Cairo. The items the defendants sought included a land mine as well as bomblet bodies and “trumpet liners,” two components that are integral to manufacturing the housings for explosives in an aerial warhead. In July 2011, the defendants traveled from Cairo to New York City to inspect the items. On July 1, 2011, the three principals of AMA United Group attempted to ship samples to its client in Egypt. Boulos and Tawdraus failed to file any export information in connection with the attempted shipment. The requirement to file accurate information regarding the contents of international shipments is one layer of regulatory oversight pertaining to protecting the U.S. national security and diplomatic interests.
Today’s pleas took place before U.S. District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano of the Eastern District of New York. When sentenced, defendants Tawdraus and Boulos face up to five years in prison, as well as criminal forfeiture and fines. Each of the defendants also faces export sanctions, including the denial of export privileges by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of State.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Seth DuCharme and David Pitluck of the Eastern District of New York, with assistance from Trial Attorney David Recker of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.