NEW YORK, May 30 (RAPSI) – Lawyers for Alexander Fishenko, the key figure of a criminal case of exporting electronic components to Russia without required licenses claim that he may be sentenced to 50 months’ incarceration or less, whereas the prosecution insists on at least 121 months in prison.
In October 2012, FBI made public the fact that eight people had been arrested on charges of unlawfully exporting high technologies to Russia for needs of the Russian military and special services. Four employees of Arc Electronics, a private Houston-based company, were arrested alongside the company’s co-owner Alexander Fishenko.
The firm took part in transactions aimed to purchase electronic components from US manufacturers and consequently sell these components to Russian firms. As the case material show, the customer of Fishenko’s company was Apex System having connections to a number of Russian enterprises.
A superseding 25-count indictment was presented to a New York court in November 2014. The charges include a conspiracy aimed at violation of the US International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and The Arms Export Control Act (AECA).
The court records show that Fishenko, not being a diplomatic or consular official, or an attache of a foreign state carried out illegal purchases of electronic components without prior notification of the US Attorney General.
There are a total of 11 defendants in the case, three of them have been placed on the wanted list. Four of the eight arrested - Viktoria Klebanova, Alexander Fishenko, Alexander Posobilov and Anastasia Dyatlova - have U.S. and Russian passports.
As concerns Fishenko, he attended Technical University in St. Petersburg, Russia, from 1987 to 1994, studying dialectrics and semiconductors but left his studies to immigrate to the United States. Since 2003 he is a naturalized US citizen, married and the father of a 10-year-old son. According to his lawyers, Fishenko has not seen his family for three years and could speak with his wife by telephone only. She attempted to visit him last July after having received clearance from the MDC, but upon arrival she was denied admission and counsel’s efforts to secure her entry were unsuccessful.
Fishenko pleaded guilty to the entire indictment in September of 2015. In particular, he agreed in his guilty plea that he violated United States law by selling electronic components to Russia without required licenses. He also pleaded guilty to ancillary money laundering, wire fraud, obstruction of justice and being an unregistered foreign agent.
At the same time, Fishenko’s lawyers insist that he did not establish his company, ARC Electronics, for the purpose of unlawfully exporting electronic components. Moreover, numerous facts cited by the defense are evidence that the company strived to become more diligent and the efforts made to comply with the law. “Mr. Fishenko intended ARC to be a lawful export company in which he could utilize his professional skills and Russian contacts to build a successful business – his small slice of the American Dream,” – the lawyers claim.
The defense also points out that Fishenko and his family have already suffered extraordinary punishment by virtue of the inaccurate characterization in the press that he pleaded guilty to being a spy.
Fishenko is to be sentenced by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on June 3.