Prison Sentence, Cash Forfeiture for Trafficking in Counterfeit Computer Chips
The Department of Justice reports that a Chinese national has been sentenced to 15 months of imprisonment for conspiring to sell counterfeits of sophisticated integrated circuits to a purchaser in the U.S. The man was also ordered to forfeit $63,000 in cash seized incident to his arrest.
According to the DOJ, this man and two others each operated businesses in China that bought and sold electronic components, including integrated circuits. In 2015 the man asked one of the co-conspirators to locate and purchase several advanced ICs that had military applications, including radiation tolerance for uses in space. The co-conspirator then asked a U.S. individual to locate the ICs and sell them to him, even after the individual explained that the ICs could not be shipped outside the U.S. without an export license. When the U.S. individual expressed concern that the desired ICs would have to be stolen from military inventory, the co-conspirator proposed to supply the U.S. source with “fake” ICs that “look the same” to replace the ones to be stolen. All three conspirators were arrested in the U.S. when they attempted to carry out this scheme.