Feds: Owner tried to hide complex Russian scheme

Associated Press Modified: October 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm •  Published: October 10, 2012
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HOUSTON (AP) — The owner of a Texas microelectronics company instructed co-workers and associates to cover their tracks as they conspired to sell highly regulated microelectronics to the Russian military, authorities alleged Wednesday in a federal court hearing.

Alexander Fishenko and three others appeared in a Houston courtroom for hearings on whether they should be granted bail before trial. Prosecutors argued Fishenko, a naturalized American citizen who was born in Kazakhstan, is a flight risk. Fishenko's attorney, Eric Reed, said his client wouldn't flee because he has a 7-year-old son living in the area.

A judge is expected to decide Thursday whether to allow bail.

Fishenko, the owner of Houston-based Arc Electronics Inc., and seven of his employees were arrested last week.

They are accused of scheming to illicitly sell military technology to Russia, starting in 2008.

In a case with Cold War-era echoes, U.S. authorities say Fishenko was running a Houston-based company that obtained highly regulated technology and clandestinely exported it to Russia for use by that country's military and intelligence agencies. The microelectronics could have a wide range of military uses, including radar and surveillance systems, weapons guidance systems and detonation triggers, U.S. authorities say.

Reed has said he plans to review the charges against his client with a critical eye. The Russian Foreign Ministry has noted the defendants are not charged with espionage.

"I think these are fairly dramatic allegations that we will certainly take a hard look at to determine whether there is any evidence to back that up," Reed said.