Two US citizens arrested for illegally exporting technology to Russia
Washington: Two Kansas men were arrested today on charges related to a years-long scheme to circumvent U.S. export laws that included the illegal export of aviation-related technology to Russia after Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, and the imposition of stricter restrictions on exports to Russia.
According to the indictment, Cyril Gregory Buyanovsky, 59, of Lawrence, and Douglas Robertson, 55, of Olathe, owned and operated KanRus Trading Company, which supplied Western avionics equipment (i.e., electronics installed in aircraft) to Russian companies and provided repair services for equipment used in Russian-manufactured aircraft.
Since 2020, the defendants conspired to evade U.S. export laws by concealing and misstating the true end users, value and end destinations of their exports and by transshipping items through third-party countries.
For example, between November 2020 and February 2021, the defendants received avionics equipment, including a computer processor bearing a sticker identifying Russia’s Federal Security Services (FSB), from a Russian company for repair in the United States.
The defendants concealed the true end user and end destination by providing a fraudulent invoice to the shipment company identifying the end destination as Germany.
As further alleged, on Feb. 28, 2022, the defendants attempted to export avionics to Russia. U.S. authorities detained the shipment, and the U.S. Department of Commerce informed the defendants that a license was required to export the equipment to Russia. In an April 2022 communication, Robertson expressed to a Russia-based customer that “things are complicated in the USA” and that “[t]his is NOT the right time for [more paperwork and visibility].” Subsequently, in May, June and July 2022, the defendants illegally transshipped avionics through Armenia and Cyprus to Russia without obtaining the required licenses.
The defendants are charged with conspiracy, exporting controlled goods without a license, falsifying and failing to file electronic export information, and smuggling goods contrary to U.S. law. If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count of exporting controlled goods without a license; up to 10 years in prison for each count of smuggling; and up to five years in prison for each count of conspiracy and falsifying export information. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Task Force KleptoCapture Director Andrew C. Adams, U.S. Attorney Duston J. Slinkard for the District of Kansas, Assistant Director Alan E. Kohler Jr. of the FBI Counterintelligence Division, Special Agent in Charge Charles Dayoub of the FBI Kansas City Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Aaron Tambrini of the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement, Chicago Field Office made the announcement.
The FBI and the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott Rask and Ryan Huschka for the District of Kansas and Trial Attorney Adam Barry of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case.
The investigation was coordinated through the Justice Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture, an interagency law enforcement task force dedicated to enforcing the sweeping sanctions, export controls and economic countermeasures that the United States, along with its foreign allies and partners, has imposed in response to Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine.
Announced by the Attorney General on March 2, 2022 and under the leadership of the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, the task force will continue to leverage all of the department’s tools and authorities to combat efforts to evade or undermine the collective actions taken by the U.S. government in response to Russian military aggression.