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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Middlesex County Man Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Conspiring to Export Firearms and Items Subject to Export Control List to Ukraine

NEWARK, N.J. – An Edison, New Jersey man was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for conspiring to export, without a license, firearms, and other items subject to the export control list, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Gene Shilman, 63, a native of the Soviet Union, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Katharine S. Hayden to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and the Export Control Reform Act.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From May 2014 through October 2018, Shilman entered a conspiracy with others, including a conspirator residing in Ukraine. Shilman exported defense articles regulated by the Arms Export Control Act. Shilman also exported items that were included on the commerce control list as well as defense articles and items with both defense and civilian uses that are subject to the Export Control Reform Act. At no point did Shilman ever obtain the required export license from the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

Shilman ordered and received firearms components and parts, ammunition, night-vision goggles and bulletproof vests from various vendors and firearms dealers in the United States. He received numerous wire transfers from overseas locations, including Ukraine and Russia, to pay for the purchase of these items. After receiving these items from the vendors and firearms dealers, Shilman repackaged and shipped them to overseas locations without the required export licenses.  

For example, in September 2018 Shilman completed a Customs Declaration form at a U.S. Post Office in Middlesex County and falsely represented that the contents of the parcel destined for Ukraine contained tools and cartridges. An inspection of the parcel revealed that it contained multiple upper receivers for handguns, multiple ammunition magazines for handguns, multiple threaded barrels for handguns, and a set of front and rear sights for a handgun. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Hayden sentenced Shilman to one year of supervised release.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark; the U.S. Department of Commerce, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Carson, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Rodney M. Hopkins, Newark Division, with the investigation leading to the today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Kearney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office National Security Unit in Newark.

Topic(s): 
Foreign Corruption
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
21-233
Updated May 25, 2021