The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island recently announced that Broad Tech System, Inc. (“Broad Tech”), a California-based electronics distribution company, and its president and owner Tao Jiang pleaded guilty for their roles in a scheme involving the illegal export of chemicals from an unnamed Rhode Island-based company to a technology company in China with ties to the Chinese military. On January 11, 2023, the company and its owner pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering, violating the Export Control Reform Act, and conspiracy to conceal information from the US Commerce Department (“DOC”) and the US Customs and Border Protection.
According to federal prosecutors, as part of the plea, Jiang and Broad Tech admitted that they both conspired with co-defendant Bohr Winn-Shih, a former Broad Tech engineer, to order chemicals from a Rhode Island manufacturer/distributor and then have the chemicals shipped to a state-owned entity in China, in violation of the Export Control Reform Act. Jiang and Broad Tech further admitted that they knowingly submitted false and misleading documents to the US Government and to shipping companies in o to facilitate the scheme. According to the USAO, the intended recipient is a company in Nanjing, China that develops and produces computer chips and key components in China’s military strategic early warning systems, air defense systems, manned space systems, and other large-scale projects. The company also appears on the DOC’s Entity List as a business that is not be permitted to receive certain exports from the US.
Jiang and Broad Tech are currently scheduled to be sentenced on April 11, 2023. In 2021, co-defendant Winn-Shih pleaded guilty to the same charges as Jiang and Broad Tech and was sentenced to one year of probation for his role in the scheme.