|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
BUREAU OF INDUSTRY AND SECURITY
| Friday, August 14th, 2009
Office of Public Affairs
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced today that RF Micro Devices, Inc. (RFMD) of Greensboro, N.C. has agreed to pay a $190,000 civil penalty to settle allegations that it exported spread-spectrum modems in violation of the Export Administration Regulations to the People's Republic of China.
RFMD designs and manufactures high-performance semiconductor components and voluntarily disclosed these violations. In addition, BIS announced today that Carol Wilkins, an RFMD manager whose responsibilities, at the time of the violations, included export control compliance, has agreed to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $15,000 for making false and misleading statements to BIS Special Agents in the course of the investigation of RFMD.
“Unlawful shipment of state-of-the-art micro devices is a serious national security concern,” said Kevin Delli-Colli, the acting assistant secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement. “Moreover, companies that voluntarily disclose violations must provide truthful and complete information to investigators. Self-serving, false or misleading statements only serve to further undermine corporate credibility.”
The allegations involved 14 unlicensed exports of spread-spectrum modems, classified under Export Control Classification Number 5A001 and controlled for national security reasons, to the People’s Republic of China with knowledge that a violation of the Regulations was occurring, was about to occur or was intended to occur in connection with the spread-spectrum modems. Additionally, BIS alleged that on 13 occasions RFMD made false or misleading statements in connection with the submission of Shipper’s Export Declarations (SEDs). The violations occurred in 2002 and 2003.
BIS also alleged that, in 2004, Carol Wilkins made a false or misleading statement in the course of the BIS investigation of RFMD. Specifically, the allegation stated that Wilkins, told a BIS investigator that an outside export control consultant had confirmed that RFMD’s products were not export-controlled to any region where the company was marketing or selling its products. BIS alleged that, in fact, Wilkins had been repeatedly advised that certain RFMD products may have been classified under the Commerce Control List and that these products may have required an export license.
Acting Assistant Secretary Kevin Delli-Colli, praised the BIS Washington Field Office for its outstanding work on this case.
BIS controls exports and reexports of dual-use commodities, technology, and software for reasons of national security, missile technology, nuclear non-proliferation, chemical and biological weapons non-proliferation, crime control, regional stability and foreign policy. Criminal penalties and administrative sanctions can be imposed for violations of the Export Administration Regulations. For more information, please visit www.bis.doc.gov.