California-based company sentenced in export scheme

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — A California-based electronics distribution company and its president were both sentenced for attempting to illegally export chemicals manufactured and/or distributed by a Rhode Island-based company to a technology company in China.

Tao Jiang, aka Jason Jiang, 53, of Riverside, California, and Broad Tech Systems pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy, violation of the Export Control Act, and money laundering conspiracy.

Jiang and his company, alongside engineer Bohr Winn-Shih, attempted to conceal information from the U.S. Department of Commerce and from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, United States Attorney Zachary Cunha said.

The plan was to order the chemicals Photoresist and HPRD from a North Kingstown-based manufacturer, and then submit false documentation to the federal government to have the products illegally shipped to a China.

The Chinese company that was intended to receive the chemicals is on a U.S. government list of businesses that are not permitted to receive products manufactured in the United States, Cunha continued.

The Nanjing-based company manufactures and researches electronic components that are used in China’s military strategic early warning systems, air defense systems, airborne fire control systems, manned space systems, and other large-scale national projects.

The Customs and Border Protection National Targeting Center halted a shipment of 58 gallons of Photoresist in October 2018. Jiang then attempted to have another 94 gallons shipped to China, Cunha said.

The Kingstown company communicated with the Department of Commerce, which tracked a wire transfer of $65,984 that Broad Tech received from China for the chemicals.

Jiang was ordered to serve one year of federal probation, pay a fine of $5,500, and to perform 100 hours of community service. Broad Tech Systems was placed on federal probation for one year and ordered to pay a fine of $120,000.

Winn-Shih was sentenced in August 2021 to one year of probation.

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