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July 20, 2008 

California Firm Sentenced While Search for Its Fugitive Vice President Continues in Arms Export Case

The Justice Department announced last week that Air Shunt Instruments Inc., an aircraft components company located near Los Angeles, California, has been sentenced to pay a criminal fine of $250,000 for "willfully and knowingly" making "a false statement in connection with a gyroscope used on military helicopters that was sent to a freight forwarder in San Diego for shipment to Thailand in 2003."

Meanwhile, it was also reported that John Nakkashian, Air Shunt's former Vice President who was responsible for international sales and for obtaining all required export licenses remains, has fled the U.S. and remains a fugitive.

Nakashian was previously indicted on four counts of violating the Arms Export Control Act for illegally exported military components without the required export licenses. The indictment alleges that Nakkashian illegally exported military components for the General Electric J85 engine, which is used on the F-5 fighter jet, from the United States to Dubai without obtaining the required export licenses from the State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. Nakkashian is also accused of illegally exporting a military gyroscope to Thailand and other military component to Dubai.

The Justice Department's press release indicates that:

Air Shunt took appropriate disciplinary action against Nakkashian for perpetrating the acts alleged. Furthermore, since August 2004, Air Shunt has adopted effective standards of conduct and internal control systems, including new and revised review and control procedures and ethics training programs designed to prevent or detect violations.

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