April 25, 2017

Chinese National Faces Up to 20 Years in Prison for Attempting to Illegally Export Carbon Fiber to China

by Gwen Green

Fuyi Sun, a Chinese national, pleaded guilty on April 21, 2017 to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act in connection with a scheme to illegally export high-grade carbon fiber to China without an export license.

According to the complaint, Sun began trying to acquire the high-grade carbon fiber, including Toray type M60JB-3000-50B carbon fiber (“M60 Carbon Fiber”), for the Chinese military in 2011.  M60 Carbon Fiber is used primarily in aerospace and military applications, including in unmanned aerial vehicles (i.e., drones).  Sun admitted he tried to evade U.S. export control laws by using fraudulent documents and code words to conceal his efforts to purchase the high-grade carbon fiber for the Chinese military, according to prosecutors.

Sun was arrested in April 2016 after trying to purchase M60 Carbon Fiber from the UC Company, an undercover entity created by Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) and “staffed” by HSI undercover special agents.  In meetings with undercover agents, Sun repeatedly indicated that the M60 Carbon Fiber was for the Chinese military and claimed to have personally worked in the Chinese missile program, according to the complaint.  On April 12, 2016, Sun paid the undercover agents $23,000 for two cases of M60 Carbon Fiber, as well as an additional $2,000 for the risk he believed the UC Company was taking to illegally export the carbon fiber to China.

Sun is scheduled to be sentenced on July 26, 2017, at which time he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.