For Immediate Release: August 8, 2005
Contact - BIS Public Affairs 202-482-2721
The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that Erik Kyriacou, of New York , N.Y. , was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $8,000 in restitution in connection with the export of night vision equipment for delivery to Iran without the required U.S. Government authorization.
Kyriacou pled guilty to two counts of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, one count of interstate transportation of stolen property, and one count of making a false statement in export documents.
According to court documents, in January 2004, Kyriacou unlawfully attempted to export four Astroscope camera lenses from the United States with knowledge that the lenses were to be shipped to Iran , which is currently under a U.S. embargo. Kyriacou also attempted to sell the lenses on the Internet to undercover agents posing as international arms brokers. The Astroscope is a third generation night vision device that allows a video camera to capture images clearly in the dark.
Court documents also indicate that the lenses were property which had been stolen from NBC News in New York by Kyriacou while he was a part-time employee. NBC News cooperated fully with the investigation.
The investigation was initiated by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security New York Field Office, and later assisted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Assistant United States Attorney Wendy Kelly of the United States Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia prosecuted the case .
The Department of Commerce administers and enforces export controls for reasons of national security, foreign policy, nonproliferation, anti-terrorism, and short supply through the EAR. Criminal prosecution and administrative sanctions can be imposed for violations of those regulations.