A former executive of a Chatsworth aircraft components company pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges stemming from the unlicensed export of military technology overseas.
John Nakkashian, 58, admitted that he knowingly made a false statement on a Shipper’s Export Declaration that a military gyroscope being shipped to Thailand did not require an export license, when in fact it did.
The gyroscope is on the U.S. Munitions List, and as such, cannot be exported without first obtaining an export license from the Department of State.
Nakkashian faces up to five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Sentencing is set for Jan. 5.
According to an updated indictment filed last month, Nakkashian caused Air Shunt Instruments Inc. to falsely represent to the Commerce and Homeland Security departments in 2003 that no license was required for the export of the Ametec gyroscope from the United States to Thailand.
In July 2008, Air Shunt was fined $250,000 for false statements related to the shipment.
At the time, Nakkashian — then the company’s vice president for international sales — fled the United States and was considered a fugitive, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In May 2008, Nakkashian was charged with with four counts of violating the Arms Export Control Act.
In May and September of 2003, Nakkashian illegally exported military components for the J85 engine, which is used on the F-5 fighter jet, from the United States to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, without first obtaining the required export licenses from the State Department, according to the government.
Court papers further show that Nakkashian illegally exported the military gyroscope to Bangkok and another military component to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in January 2004, without first obtaining the required export licenses from the State Department for each shipment.
According to court documents, Air Shunt took disciplinary action against Nakkashian and adopted new standards of conduct and internal control systems designed to prevent or detect violations.
&mdash City News Service
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