By: Brooke Driver
“Play nice” may have been a lesson you learned in preschool, but the rule still applies—as shown recently in the case of Amplified Research Corporation. The Pennsylvania company’s former export coordinator Timothy Gormley was sentenced to 42 months in prison and 10 years debarment this January for his illegal shipments of U.S.-controlled amplifiers to Hong Kong, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Korea and Malaysia. Apparently, the total value of the amplifiers, which are controlled due to their potential military applications as radar jammers and weapons guidance systems, was nearly $3,000,000. Twenty-five of the fifty illegal exports were to the People’s Republic of China.
Gormley certainly paid the price for his crimes, but what about his company? Amplified Research itself seems to have gotten off nearly scot free, which is rather surprising considering the high number of violations and the value of the products involved in the case. Eric L. Hirschhorn, Undersecretary of Commerce for Industry and Security, took note of Amplified Research’s cooperation with BIS throughout its investigation, including the company’s submission of a voluntary self-disclosure describing Gormley’s action. As a result, BIS has decided to waive the $500,000 fine, assuming Amplified Research does not violate the regulations in the next two years, and only requires that the company perform an outside audit. Lesson learned? Cooperation will go a long way in lessening the consequences of a violation.