A Ukrainian national living in Rego Park has been arrested on federal charges that he illegally shipped military technology to Ukraine.
According to the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Volodymyr Nedoviz, 32, conspired with others to buy military-grade equipment, including night vision rifle scopes and thermal imaging equipment, from U.S. sellers and export them to Ukraine without the required licenses.
Prosecutors on the case say that Nedoviz and his crew were able to obtain the equipment by falsely claiming to be U.S. citizens and concealed the fact that they were exporters. They allegedly paid others to ship the equipment through freight forwarding companies while hiding the true value and nature of the shipments.
Court papers say that Amazon, eBay and Paypal accounts that were linked to Nedoviz, his twin brother in Ukraine and others involved purchased at least 83 scopes and thermal imaging devices since Nov. 27, 2014. In many cases, the devices hold a retail value of about $9,000. IP addresses associated with the purchases resolve back to Ukraine.
Exporters of military-grade rifle scopes and thermal imaging devices must first obtain a license from either the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Department of Commerce. Under federal law, exporting such equipment may pose a potential threat to U.S. forces.
“[Nedoviz] tried to circumvent laws that protect our national security by preventing specialized technologies from falling into the wrong hands,” said U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers. “Those who seek to evade the scrutiny of U.S. regulatory and law enforcement agencies by operating in the shadows present a danger to our national security and our allies abroad.”
Nedoviz is a lawful permanent resident of the United States. If convicted, Nedoviz faces up to 20 years in prison and a one million dollar fine.