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Press Release

New York Man and Canadian National Plead Guilty to Multimillion-Dollar Export Control Scheme

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Defendants Exported Millions of Dollars of Electronics Used by Russia in Missiles and Drones

Note: View the plea agreement for Nikolay Goltsev here and plea agreement for Salimdzhon Nasriddinov here.

Nikolay Goltsev, 38, of Montreal, and Salimdzhon Nasriddinov, 53, of Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit export control violations for their roles in a global procurement scheme on behalf of sanctioned Russian companies, including Russian military companies. Some of the electronic components shipped by the defendants were later found in seized Russian weapons platforms and signals intelligence equipment in Ukraine.

“The defendants shipped millions of dollars of U.S. electronics critical to the missiles and drones Russia uses to attack Ukraine, and they now face U.S. prison time for their scheme,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. “As Russia continues to wage its unjust war of aggression against Ukraine, the Department remains committed to holding accountable those who fuel Putin’s war machine.”

“The defendants shipped millions of dollars’ worth of electronic components to Russia, including the exact type of parts found in Russian weapons and drones used to attack Ukraine,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “We know the devastation and destruction that these weapons cause and the Justice Department is committed to holding accountable those who violate U.S. laws to supply the Russian war machine.”

“Eliminating illegal global procurement networks that prop up the Russian war machine requires a full-court press,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce Matthew S. Axelrod for Export Enforcement. “That’s why we and our law enforcement partners are working nonstop to ensure that those operating such networks like Nasriddinov and Goltsev face American justice.”

“The defendants flouted U.S. law to help Russia in its war against Ukraine, but they were stopped in their tracks and swiftly brought to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York. “Today’s guilty pleas reflect that that this Office will take on and successfully neutralize the complicated procurement networks that are making it possible for Russia to continue its unprovoked war against Ukraine.”

“The defendants in this case engaged in an illegal scheme to funnel electronic components to Russia to use in its unjust invasion of Ukraine,” said Executive Assistant Director Robert Wells of the FBI’s National Security Branch. “They tried to disguise their activities using front companies but were ultimately discovered and brought to justice. The FBI will continue working with our partners to investigate and hold accountable those who violate sanctions in support of adversarial nations.”

“With today’s guilty pleas, all three defendants have acknowledged their involvement in their scheme to provide more than $7 million worth of material support to the Kremlin in its inhumane attacks on Ukraine,” said Special Agent in Charge Ivan J. Arvelo of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York. “Nikolay Goltsev, Salimdzhon Nasriddinov, and their co-conspirator coordinated the deployment of over 300 shipments of restricted electronics that were ultimately used on the Russian battlefield. HSI New York remains committed to utilizing its unique authorities to relentlessly pursue individuals who seek to exploit U.S. export control laws for financial gain. I am proud to stand alongside the Justice Department, FBI, and Department of Commerce in confronting these issues directly.”

According to court documents, Goltsev and Nasriddinov used two Brooklyn companies, SH Brothers Inc. and SN Electronics Inc., to unlawfully source, purchase, and ship millions of dollars in dual-use electronics from U.S. manufacturers to sanctioned end users in Russia. Some of the electronic components and integrated circuits shipped by the defendants through SH Brothers have been found in seized Russian weapons platforms and signals intelligence equipment in Ukraine, including the Torn-MDM radio reconnaissance complex, the RB-301B “Borisoglebsk-2” electronic warfare complex, the Izdeliye 305E light multi-purpose guided missile, the Vitebsk L370 airborne counter missile system, Ka-52 helicopters, Orlan-10 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and T-72B3 battle tanks. Some of these components were critical to Russia’s precision-guided weapons systems being used against Ukraine. During the period charged in the indictment, SH Brothers made hundreds of shipments valued at over $7 million to Russia.

To carry out their criminal scheme, Nasriddinov and Goltsev purchased the electronic components from U.S. manufacturers and distributors under the auspices of SH Brothers and SN Electronics and arranged for the items to be shipped from those manufacturers and distributors to various locations in Brooklyn. Nasriddinov and Goltsev then unlawfully shipped the items to a variety of intermediary front companies located in other countries, including Turkey, Hong Kong, India, China, and the United Arab Emirates, where they were rerouted to Russia.

The defendants were aware of the potential military applications of the electronics that they exported to Russia. For example, in a message exchange on or about and between Nov. 8, 2022, and Nov. 15, 2022, Goltsev commented how shipping to Russia had become “dangerous” and discussed a shipment of electronic components that had been detained by U.S. officials at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York. Nasriddinov responded that “Ukrainians alleged that they’re being bombed from parts from there [the U.S. manufacturer], maybe that’s why they started investigating everything?” Goltsev responded that “we need to figure out why they keep holding the package . . . I don’t really understand how they figured [it] out.” In a subsequent message, Goltsev commented that, “in the future we will need to load from several companies, not to attract attention . . . for now large packages will be dangerous until we understand what they figured out . . . we will need to think of diversifying the load . . . so that not everything is not moving from the same deck.”

In a Feb. 23, 2023, message, Nasriddinov wrote to Goltsev, “Happy Defender of the Fatherland,” referring the holiday in Russia and parts of the former Soviet Union celebrating those who served in the armed forces. Goltsev responded, “happy holiday to you too my friend, we are defending it in the way that we can [smile emoji].”

The scheme involved millions of dollars and proved to be lucrative for the defendants. For example, in a Sept. 15, 2022, text message from Nasriddinov to Goltsev, Nasriddinov boasted, “SH [Brothers] is one of the best companies in the world, it’s time to move forward onto the stock exchange and stock market, capital should be in the billions, we are working.” Goltsev responded, “pushing components to those who need it I can do, everything else you will have to teach me [three smile emojis].”

The government seized $20,000 in cash from the New York hotel room in which Goltsev was arrested. In total, the government has seized approximately $1.68 million dollars in connection with this export scheme.

Goltsev and Nasriddinov are scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 10 and Dec. 11, respectively. They each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Co-defendant Kristina Puzyreva pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to launder the proceeds of the export scheme. She is awaiting sentencing.

The FBI, HSI and Department of Commerce, Export Enforcement are investigating the case, with assistance from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.

Trial Attorney Christopher M. Cook of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Artie McConnell, Ellen H. Sise, and Laura Mantell for the Eastern District of New York are prosecuting the case.

Today’s actions were coordinated through the Justice and Commerce Departments’ Disruptive Technology Strike Force and the Justice Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture. The Disruptive Technology Strike Force is an interagency law enforcement strike force co-led by the Departments of Justice and Commerce designed to target illicit actors, protect supply chains, and prevent critical technology from being acquired by authoritarian regimes and hostile nation states. Task Force KleptoCapture is an interagency law enforcement task force dedicated to enforcing the sweeping sanctions, export restrictions and economic countermeasures that the United States has imposed, along with its allies and partners, in response to Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine

Updated July 9, 2024

Export Control
National Security
Press Release Number: 24-855