June 23, 2020

Italian national imprisoned for violating IEEPA

On June 18, 2020, the US Department of Justice announced that Gabriele Villone, a Italian national, must serve 28 months in a federal prison for conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Export Control Reform Act of 208 in the US District Court for the Southern District of Georgia.  According to the DOJ, an unnamed Russian government-controlled business contracted KS Engineering, a Russian-based energy company, to purchase a power turbine from the US for approximately $17 million, for use on a Russian Arctic deep water drilling platform.  The US Department of Commerce prohibited the unlicensed transfer of the turbine for the company’s intended purpose, citing national security concerns. KS Engineering allegedly hired Villone and his co-conspirators to obtain the turbine on their behalf, despite the US government’s prohibition.  In the DOJ’s indictment, Villone and his team are accused of conspiring to procure the turbine from a US manufacturer, by using falsified documents to conceal the true end user from both the manufacturer and the US government.
Villone and some of his co-defendants were arrested in Savannah, Georgia while attempting to complete the illegal turbine transaction.  The government’s investigation continues against Villone’s co-defendants and the Russian entities accused of participating in the scheme.

DOJ Press Release