Washington, March 26 (CNA) En-Wei Eric Chang, a dual citizen of Taiwan and the United States, has been sentenced to two years in a U.S. federal prison for conspiring to sell Iran military equipment that was restricted under a U.S. embargo.

In addition to the two-year sentence, the 48-year-old Chang will also be subject to a US$10,000 fine and a supervised release of six months of home detention after his jail term, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the U.S Attorney’s Office in the District of Maryland.

Chang was originally indicted in March 2003 for shipping items to Iran that were on the U.S. Munitions List, a list of “defense articles” subject to export and import restrictions, the statement said.

After being indicted for the crime in March 2003, Chang, who was based at the time in Taiwan, refused to turn himself in to U.S. authorities and he remained a fugitive for more than 20 years until being arrested in April 2023 in Rome and extradited to the U.S., the statement said.

According to his plea agreement, Chang conspired with David Chu to ship items to Iran that were on the the U.S. Munitions List from January 2002 to March 2003.

Chu, who was sentenced to two years in federal prison for his role in the conspiracy on Feb. 23, 2004, had a relationship with an Iranian businessman and passed his customer’s requests to Chang, at the time an electrical component supplier.

In January 2002, Chu asked Chang to research satellite imagery dealers for his Iranian contact, and Chang agreed, contacting a Maryland company to acquire high-definition satellite space images of Tehran.

Chang received a response from an undercover agent, and the two discussed the satellite images order for several months, the statement said.

Then, in March 2002, Chu asked Chang to research and source antennas, and Chang contacted the undercover agent “for quotes on cavity-backed spiral antennas with military applications, including the detection and surveillance of ground-based radar.”

During his correspondence with the agent, Chang admitted he knew that acquisition of the antennas violated U.S. law and that he did not have the proper license or authorization to conclude such a deal, the statement said.

As the undercover agent stalled, Chang told the agent in July 2002 that the Iranian businessman promised US$10 million in business per year if Chang succeeded in procuring the requested items.

The agent eventually agreed to the request, and Chang then asked for several other items from March 2002 to January 2003, including an anti-submarine and surveillance radar system for installation on helicopters and airplanes and military-grade night-vision goggles for use by pilots.

All of the items requested were on the Munitions List.

The undercover agent eventually agreed to deliver the cavity-backed spiral antennas to Chu in Guam in January 2003, and Chu was arrested there when he took possession of the goods before he could board a flight to Taiwan, the statement said.

The undercover agent then informed Chang of his true identity in March 2003, telling Chang that he had been indicted in the District of Maryland for conspiring to export U.S. Munitions List items to Iran and that his co-conspirator, Chu, was under U.S. Marshal custody.

After Chang’s arrest in Rome in April 2023, he eventually pleaded guilty to the federal conspiracy charge in January 2024.

Source » focustaiwan