Feds: Texas man admits sending military technology to Russia

Alexander Fishenko, left, owner of Arc Electronics Inc., hides behind another inmate as they are escorted from the federal courthouse in Houston, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. Fishenko and seven of his employees are accused of being involved in a scheme to illicitly sell military technology to Russia, starting in 2008. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

NEW YORK (AP) — A Texas man admitted Wednesday in federal court in New York that he acted as a secret agent for the Russian government and headed an operation over about 10 years to export military technology to that country.

Alexander Fishenko, a naturalized U.S. citizen and owner of Houston-based Arc Electronics Inc., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn to numerous crimes, including money laundering, obstruction of justice and acting as an agent of the Russian government in the United States. A sentencing date hasn’t been set.

Prosecutors say he headed a scheme to purposely evade strict export controls for cutting-edge microelectronics commonly used in missile guidance systems, detonation triggers and radar systems. The 49-year-old Fishenko, among 11 people charged in the case, “lined his pockets at the expense of our national security,” Acting U.S. Attorney Kelly Currie said in a statement.

Defense attorney Richard Levitt did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Fishenko was arrested in October 2012 amid a modernization campaign by Russian military officials hungry for the restricted American-made components, investigators say.

During the probe, prosecutors say, investigators learned that Fishenko’s company had shipped about $50 million worth of microelectronics and other technologies to Russia between 2002 and 2012. They also uncovered a letter that was sent by a lab for Russia’s Federal Security Service that said it obtained the microchips from Fishenko’s company, prosecutors say.

Four others have pleaded guilty to charges in the case; the remaining six have pleaded not guilty and three of them are expected to go on trial in September, authorities say.

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