RMB Agrees to Plea Deal
October 6, 2014
On October 2, 2014, Robins & Myers Belgium, S.A. (RMB) pled guilty to selling $31,716.36 of stator, “a component part of power sections used in oil and gas drilling,” to a company in Syria in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) in 2006. This Act allows the sitting president to stop trade with countries that are designated as a threat to the United States, such as Syria. Only the Department of Commerce may grant an exception to the Act. The stators were made from steel that originated in the United States and therefore, should not have been shipped to Syria. RMB continued to deliver the product even after an auditor alerted the company of the violation.
As part of the plea agreement, the defendants will pay $1,000,000 in criminal penalties, $600,000 in civil penalties, and will be on probation for five years. U.S. Attorney Machen stated, “This case shows that the United States will vigorously enforce its export laws against companies doing business with Syria, a state-sponsor of terrorism and home to one of the most brutal regimes on earth.” Under Secretary of Commerce Hirschhorn declared that this case shows U.S. “resolve to pursue and prosecute those who flout our export control laws.”
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