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FBI: Workers hid scheme to sell Russia electronics

Associated Press Modified: October 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm •  Published: October 5, 2012
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Fishenko, 46, is accused of scheming to purposely evade strict export controls for cutting-edge microelectronics, of operating inside the U.S. as an unregistered agent of the Russian government, and of money laundering. Fishenko's attorney, Eric Reed, said he plans to review the charges against his client with a critical eye.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, in a statement, noted the defendants are not charged with espionage.

According to court documents, Fishenko was born in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan and graduated from a technical institute in St. Petersburg before coming to America in 1994. In his initial asylum application, Fishenko stated he had no prior military experience, but elsewhere he claimed to have served in a Soviet military intelligence unit in Berlin in the 1980s, according to court records.

For the last four years, Fishenko lived with his family in a two-story, four-bedroom home and was a stranger to his neighbors and unknown to leaders in Houston's Russian community of more than 100,000 residents.

Fishenko filed paperwork with the Texas Secretary of State to form a for-profit corporation with his Houston business, Arc Electronics, in 2001. His company proved to be successful, earning him about $50 million in gross revenue since 2002.

But authorities say those profits came illegally as Fishenko sent hundreds of shipments to Russia containing thousands of electronics, lying to U.S. manufacturers and suppliers about who would be using this technology.

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Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/juanlozano70.