Company faces federal indictment over illegal military equipment deals with China
The president and a former employee of the Arlington Heights-based Vibgyor Optical Systems are facing federal charges for illegally exporting and importing military components to manufacturers in China.
According to CBS Chicago, the supply company allegedly exported components used in night vision systems and other military gear to manufacturers in China. Vibgyor Optical Systems was supposed to manufacturer the optics and optical systems themselves, but instead they sent the technical data and samples of military articles to China to be constructed.
The decision by a federal grand jury to indict Bharat Victor Verma and Urvashi Sonia Verma was done in January. It was made public this week.
According to a statement from the Department of Justice, some of the materials were used on the M1A1 Abrams tank, the U.S. Armed Force’s main battle tank. Several other items were to be supplied to the Department of Defense.
Once the items were manufactured, Vibgyor then imported them from China to the United States to sell to its customers.
CBS Chicago reported that the statement said that between November 2006 and March 2014, the defendants conspired to defraud the United States and violate both the Arms Export Control Act and International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
The department said that the Arms Export Control Act prohibits the export or import of defense articles and defense services without first obtaining a license from the U.S. Department of State and is one of the principal export control laws in the United States. Under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, any person seeking to import items designated as defense articles on the United States Munitions Import List is required to obtain a permit to do so from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
It is also alleged that besides illegally providing technical data for a military item to China, Urvashi Verma attempted to ship an example of one of the military items to a Chinese manufacturer.
Both are charged with one count of conspiracy to violate both the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Each offense is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment. They were also charge with one count of violating the Arms Export Control Act, which has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. In addition to these charges, the two were indicted on international money laundering. This offense carries with it a maximum possible sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine up to $500,000.