Kin of RLD leader Ajit Singh sentenced in US
Singh (34), a Arizona-based electronics dealer, was targeted by undercover agents of US Homeland Security in Philadelphia as a follow-up to a sting involving Iranian arms broker Amir Ardebili.
Reacting to the sentence, sources close to Rashtriya Lok Dal supremo Ajit Singh said in New Delhi today that Vikramaditya Singh was not aware of end user agreement needed to be signed before the selling of equipments in question.
Vikramaditya Singh is owner of Orion Telecom Networks in Delaware.
District Chief Judge Gregory M Sleet sentenced Vikramaditya Singh of Fountain Hills, Arizona, to three years` probation, including six months` home confinement, and a USD 100,000 fine for exporting items he believed were destined to Iran. The sentence means Singh is likely to be deported this year.
However, Singh`s sentencing is lenient that requested by either his attorney or the federal prosecutors.
Singh`s lawyer, Danny C Onorato, sought a one-year term and asked US District Judge Gregory M Sleet to consider his client`s otherwise exemplary life and the fact that others who had committed similar crimes had received sentences of less than a year.
"Mr Singh understands that his reasoning was legally flawed and morally wrong," Onorato said, "and he feels immeasurable remorse."
Assistant US Attorney Robert F Kravetz had sought a sentence of 18 months. He said Singh`s conduct was "not merely careless or a product of poor judgment but knowingly unlawful," in part because Singh knew from his business dealings that the radios involved were also deployed on US military bases.
On November 23, 2010, Singh pleaded guilty to one count of causing and attempting to export to Iran, digital microwave radios, without the required authorisation from the Office of Foreign Asset Control, Department of the Treasury.
"This case demonstrates the great lengths individuals motivated by the dollar will go, including the circumvention of sanctions imposed by the United States against Iran," said John P Kelleghan, special agent in charge for the ICE Office of Investigations in Philadelphia.
According to facts developed during the investigation, an undercover United States Homeland Security Investigations special agent (the "UCA") initiated contact with Singh following the arrest of Iranian procurement agent Amir Ardebili, an official release said.
A search of Ardebili`s computer had revealed email communication between Ardebili and Singh, culminating in Singh forwarding a price quote and bank account information to Ardebili for various items, including digital microwave radios, the statement said.
Over a 20-month period, beginning in September 2008, and concluding with a search of defendant`s business in May 2010, the UCA contacted Singh on multiple occasions to arrange for the purchase of digital microwave radios.
On two separate occasions, defendant knowingly violated United States export laws by exporting a pair of microwave radios that he believed were destined for Iran, with full awareness that it was unlawful to do so, the Department of Justice said.
The radios were shipped to Slovenia and Denmark, respectively, with plans to transship them to Iran.
During an in-person meeting with the UCA at his office in Arizona, Singh attempted to sell an additional forty radios to the UCA, which would be shipped through Spain to Iran, the Justice Department said.
According to court papers, Singh came to the US in 1998 and received the Green Card in 2001.
However, he did not choose to become a US citizen when he became eligible for it in October 2004.
"Had defendant taken the effort to become a United States citizen over the past 10 years, his family would not have to make the difficult choice of relocating him to India as a result of his unlawful conduct and expected deportation," the federal prosecutor said.