Massachusetts Man Sentenced for Wire Fraud and Illegally Exporting Defense Articles to Turkey
Defendant Defrauded the U.S. Department of Defense and Exported Technical Data Controlled Under Federal Law to Turkish Manufacturer Without An Export License
A Massachusetts man was sentenced yesterday to 33 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for a scheme to illegally export defense technical data to foreign nationals in Turkey in connection with the fraudulent manufacturing of parts and components used by the U.S. military, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) later determined that some of the parts were substandard and unsuitable for use by the military.
On Aug. 10, 2022, Arif Ugur, 53, of Cambridge, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, two counts of violating the Arms Export Control Act and one count of conspiring to violate the Arms Export Control Act.
“The defendant willfully defrauded the Department of Defense and gave access to controlled defense information to individuals in a foreign country for personal gain,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “This type of brazen disregard for our export control laws threatens our military readiness and technological advantage and will not be tolerated by this department.”
According to court documents, in 2015, Ugur, founded and was the sole managing partner of the Anatolia Group Limited Partnership (Anatolia), a domestic limited partnership registered in Massachusetts. Beginning in approximately July 2015, Ugur bid on and acquired numerous contracts to supply the DOD with various parts and components intended for use by the U.S. military. Many of these contracts required that the parts be manufactured in the United States. Both in bids submitted to DOD and in subsequent email communications with DOD representatives, Ugur falsely claimed that Anatolia was manufacturing the parts in the United States. In fact, Anatolia was a front company with no manufacturing facilities whatsoever. Unbeknownst to DOD, Ugur contracted with a company in Turkey to make the parts and then passed them off to DOD as if they had been manufactured by Anatolia in the United States. Because they had not been manufactured in the United States in accordance with the contacts, Ugur failed to allow DOD to inspect the parts prior to delivery to the U.S. military. Many of the parts were substandard and some could not be used at all.
To enable the Turkish company to manufacture the parts, Ugur shared technical specifications and drawings of the parts with his co-conspirators overseas, some of whom were employees of the Turkish company. Ugur also provided his overseas co-conspirators with access to DOD’s online library of technical specifications and drawings. Because of their military applications, many of these parts were designated as Defense Articles under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the United States Munitions List (USML). Thus, an export license was required to export the parts and related technical data (blueprints, specifications, etc.) from the United States to Turkey. Ugur knew of these restrictions, but nonetheless exported technical data controlled under the ITAR and USML to employees of the Turkish manufacturer without an export license.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division; U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins for the District of Massachusetts; Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Hegarty of the Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Northeast Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Matthew B. Millhollin of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Rashel Assouri of the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement, Boston Field Office made the announcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason A. Casey and Timothy H. Kistner for the District of Massachusetts prosecuted the case.