CHICAGO: A Bolingbrook man was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison for violating U.S. export laws by attempting to ship a thermal imaging camera from his company in Schaumburg to a company in Pakistan without obtaining a license from the U.S. Commerce Department, federal law enforcement officials announced on Thursday. The defendant, Bilal Ahmed, 34, of Bolingbrook, Illinois, was also ordered to complete a term of two years of supervision after his release by U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer. Ahmed was ordered to report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons on July 17, 2015. Ahmed pled guilty to one count of willfully violating export control regulations, specifically the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, between June 2009 and March 2014.
Ahmed was the owner, president, and registered agent of Trexim Corporation, an Illinois corporation based in Schaumburg, which was in the business of purchasing items for export from the United States. The defendant was regularly involved in the negotiation, purchase, and export of materials from United States manufacturers to overseas locations, including Pakistan. The defendant received orders for goods from Pakistani entities, including Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, also known as SUPARCO, and then purchased and exported those items to the Pakistani entities, including to SUPARCO. Ahmed knew that the export of goods, particularly the export of goods designated as “dual use” items, was controlled in some instances by the Department of State and the Department of Commerce and was aware that certain items required a license issued from either the Department of State or the Department of Commerce in order to be exported from the United States.
The items exported by Ahmed included, among other things, a FLIR HRC-U thermal imaging camera, carbon fiber to make “bullet proof-vests,” and microwave laminate, all to Pakistan. Each of those items was on a Commerce Department list of controlled export goods for reasons of national security and regional stability. A license was required to ship the items to Pakistan. The defendant exported and attempted to export those items to Pakistan without ever having applied for such a license.
“For a period of at least four years, defendant made it his business to export items from the United States to overseas locations, without obtaining the necessary licenses and approvals when required. In fact, based just on the purchase orders recovered from defendant’s computer at the time of his arrest, purchase orders reflected the export of approximately 203 items from the United States to Pakistan,” stated Assistant U.S. Attorney Bethany Biesenthal in the government’s sentencing memorandum.
The sentence 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 of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export Enforcement. The Justice Department’s National Security Division provided assistance in the case. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bethany Biesenthal.