Prison Time and Export Controls: University Professor's Case Illustrates Dangers of Ignoring Export Compliance

On Monday, October 3, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of retired University of Tennessee professor John Reece Roth. In July 2009, Roth received a four year prison sentence for illegally exporting military technology, in large part due to his work with graduate students from Iran and China. Professor Roth’s conviction and prison sentence forcefully remind the research community, commercial as well as academic, of the potentially severe consequences that may arise from ignoring technology export controls.

During the relevant time period, Professor Roth worked with Atmospheric Glow Technologies, Inc., a plasma technology company, on plasma actuators in development for use in U.S. Air Force drones. The plasma actuators are controlled under the Arms Export Control Act, which regulates the import and export of defense articles listed on the United States Munitions List, which is codified in Section 121 of the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”). Under the ITAR, technology related to the plasma actuators is controlled as technical data, and providing instructions on the use of plasma actuators is controlled as a defense service. With only limited exceptions, transfers of ITAR-controlled items, technical data, or defense services to a foreign national or a foreign country without a license from the U.S. government are prohibited. The prohibition includes sharing controlled technical data with or providing defense services to foreign nationals in the United States.

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.