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April 06, 2009 

Two Defendants Plead Guilty in Unrelated Cases Involving Illegally Exported Military Aircraft Parts

Last week two defendants in unrelated cases pleaded guilty to violations involving the unlicensed export of military aircraft parts from the United States.

In Hartford, Connecticut, Stuart Wax, pleaded guilty today to one count of making a false statement in an export control document. Mr. Wax entered the plea both for himself and on behalf of his company, M.M.M. Wheels, Inc. According to the Justice Department, in 2003, Mr. Wax exported parts used in the F-4 fighter jet to be sent to a company in Israel without the required license from the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. Mr. Wax indicated on the shipping documents that the box contained “plumbing parts for repair”, although the government alleged that Wax knew that the contents actually were parts for military aircraft.

When Mr. Wax is sentenced in September, he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000. Wax's company, M.M.M. Wheels, Inc. faces a maximum penalty of five years of probation and a fine of $500,000.

In a separate case, Mr. Traian Bujduveanu pleaded guilty in the Southern District of Florida to one count of conspiring to illegally export military and dual-use aircraft parts to Iran through his company, Orion Aviation. Bujduveanu's co-defendant, Mr. Hassan Keshari, and his corporation, Kesh Air International, pleaded guilty in January 2009, and are awaiting sentencing.

According to the Indictment, Bujduveanu sold aircraft parts to Keshari for purchasers in Iran and exported the aircraft parts to Iran by way of freight forwarders in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Bujduveanu allegedly received orders by email from Keshari requesting specific aircraft parts for buyers in Iran. Bujduveanu then provided quotes, usually by e-mail, to Keshari. After the receipt of payment for the parts from Keshari, Bujduveanu then shipped the parts to a company in Dubai through the use of false or misleading shipping documents. From Dubai, the parts were then shipped on to the purchasers in Iran.

The Justice Department claims that the aircraft parts exported to Iran included parts designed exclusively for the F-14 fighter, the Cobra AH-1 Attack Helicopter, and the CH-53A Military Helicopter. All of these aircraft are part of the Iranian military fleet, while the F-14 is known to be used exclusively by the Iranian military.

Mr. Bujduveanu faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000 when he is sentenced in June.




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