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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 21, 2020

Chinese National Arraigned on Arms Export Control Act and Money Laundering Charges

            WASHINGTON - On February 18, 2020, Cho Yan Nathan Man (Man) was arraigned on an indictment filed June 26, 2019, charging him with four counts of Unlawful Exports and Attempted Unlawful Exports of Defense Articles to Hong Kong, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), 22 U.S.C. § 2778; and the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 C.F.R. §§ 120-130 (Counts One through Four); and four counts of International Money Laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956(a)(2)(A) and (c)(7)(b)(v)(I) (Counts Five through Eight). The indictment, initially filed under seal, was unsealed at Man’s initial appearance and arraignment.  Man was arrested in Switzerland on or about June 13, 2019, and extradited from Switzerland to the United States on or about February 14, 2020. The court has ordered Man detained pending trial.

            The indictment alleges that, from in or around October 2018 to in or around January 2019, Man knowingly attempted to export, and/or caused the export of, the following items that have been determined to be United States Munitions List (USML) defense articles: (1) a pair of enhanced night vision goggles, which combines night vision and thermal imaging and which was manufactured by a U.S. company; (2) a Glare Mout Plus, which is a non-lethal visual disruption laser (also known as a dazzler) used to hail and warn individuals approaching a restricted or controlled area; (3) a target pointer illuminator aiming light, which is a laser that attaches to a rifle and is used for aiming that weapon; and (4) a four-prong muzzle adapter for a rifle that was manufactured by a U.S. company. The indictment further alleges that Man engaged in international money laundering in connection with each transaction by causing or attempting to cause a transfer or transmission of funds for the purchase of these items from Hong Kong to the sellers in the United States.

            An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.  If convicted on any of the AECA charges, Man faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000,000 or twice the pecuniary gain or loss of the offense, and three years of supervised release. If convicted of any of the money laundering charges, Man faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the monetary instrument or funds involved in the transportation, transmission, or transfer, whichever is greater; and three years of supervised release.

            This investigation is being conducted jointly by the Chicago Field Office of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Chicago Resident Agency of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. The case is being prosecuted by the National Security Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice.

Topic(s): 
Counterintelligence and Export Control
Press Release Number: 
20-035
Updated February 27, 2020