Bolingbrook Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Exporting Carbon Fiber and Other Controlled Items to Pakistan
CHICAGO―A Bolingbrook man pleaded guilty today to violating U.S. export laws, admitting that he shipped carbon fiber and microwave laminates, and attempted to ship a thermal imaging camera, from his company in Schaumburg to Pakistan without obtaining licenses from the U.S. Commerce Department, federal law enforcement officials announced today.
The defendant, BILAL AHMED, 34, was the president, agent, and owner of Trexim Corp., which used the address of a virtual office in Schaumburg. He pleaded guilty to one count of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). Ahmed was arrested in March and remains free on a $100,000 secured bond pending sentencing on Jan. 15, 2015, in U.S District Court.
He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. His plea agreement anticipates an advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines range of 57 to 71 months in prison.
In pleading guilty, Ahmed admitted that in 2009, he shipped carbon fiber ― Tenax-E HTS40 F13 12K 800 tex ― to Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), believing that it would be used to make bullet-proof vests. Ahmed knew that two designated “dual use” goods required a license from the Commerce Department to be exported and that no goods could be shipped to certain entities, such as SUPARCO, without first receiving a U.S. export license.
Ahmed knew that the carbon fiber was subject to export regulation. Specifically, the material was controlled for nuclear nonproliferation and anti-terrorism reasons and required a license from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security to be exported to Pakistan. Neither Ahmed nor Trexim ever applied for or obtained the necessary license. Ahmed also admitted that in 2103, he shipped microwave laminate ― RT/duroid 5870 High Frequency Laminates ― to SUPARCO in Pakistan without applying for or obtaining the required export license.
Ahmed was arrested in March as he attempted to ship to Pakistan a FLIR HRC-U thermal imaging camera, which was on a Commerce Department list of controlled export goods for reasons of national security and regional stability.
The guilty plea was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Robert J. Holley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Edward Holland, Supervisory Special Agent, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export Enforcement, Chicago Field Office. The Justice Department’s National Security Division provided assistance in the case.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bethany Biesenthal.