Feb 27 A former employee of a Houston
electronics exporting company was sentenced on Tuesday to 11
years and three months in prison for his role in a scheme to
illegally export about $50 million of microelectronics to
Alexander Posobilov, 62, was sentenced by U.S. District
Judge Sterling Johnson in Brooklyn, federal prosecutors
Posobilov filed a notice in court on Tuesday that he was
appealing his conviction and sentence. His attorney could not be
reached for comment.
Posobilov was convicted in October 2015 of exporting and
conspiring to export more microchips and other high-tech goods
to Russia, including many destined for the military and
intelligence agencies. He was also convicted of money laudering.
Posobilov, who came to the United States from Russia in 2001
and became a U.S. citizen in 2008, worked as procurement
director for Arc Electronics Inc, according to court filings.
Prosecutors say he acted a right-hand man to Arc founder
Alexander Fishenko, who led the conspiracy. Fishenko was
sentenced to 10 years in prison last June after pleading guilty
to operating as an unauthorized agent of the Russian government
and violating export laws.
Prosecutors said Fishenko, Posobilov and others schemed to
sell cutting-edge microelectronics frequently used in military
systems to the Russian military and others through intermediary
Fishenko and Posobilov hired and trained a cadre of
Russian-speaking sales people to lie to vendors about why Arc
was seeking these technologies and to falsify export records,
Seven of Arc's top 10 clients were specially authorized by
the Russian Ministry of Defense to procure parts for its
military, prosecutors said.
Arc's customers in Russia included a technical research unit
for the Russian FSB internal security agency and Russian
entities that built air and missile defense systems and that
produced electronic warfare systems, prosecutors said.
Fishenko and Posobilov were among 11 people arrested in 2012
in connection with the alleged scheme.
Two other Arc employees were tried and convicted alongside
Posobilov. In addition to Fishenko, four other defendants have
pleaded guilty. Three remain at large, according to prosecutors.
Fishenko's lawyers said in court documents that although
Fishenko was pleading guilty to acting as an agent for the
Russian government under U.S. law, he was not a "spy."
They said he intended Arc to be a lawful exporting company,
but wrongly took a "laissez-faire" attitude to licensing
(Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Bill