By: Danielle Hatch
Former US Navy contractor, OceanWorks International Cooperation (OceanWorks) and it’s president, Glen Omer Viau were involved in a scheme where they provided US Navy technical data to a company in China that was working on the design and construction of a remotely-operated submarine rescue vehicle for People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy. OceanWorks was the main contractor for the US Navy’s Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS), one of the components of the SRDRS, a tethered, remotely-operated vehicle that included a Pressurized Rescue Module (PRM) and its technical data requires a license from the Department of Commerce to be exported to China.
In 2016, OceanWorks which is a Canada-based company, was sold to a Chinese company and Viau was hired to be the president of the company. Between 2016 and 2017 OceanWorks sent the technical data to an employee of OceanWorks and a Chinese company to help them with a proposal to develop a similar vehicle system for the PLA Navy. Multi-page technical drawings were sent and contained export-controlled data and required a license from the Department of Commerce to go to China.
In 2017, the Canadian Government ordered the divestiture of the OceanWorks acquisition and within one year of the divesture the company filed a voluntary self-disclosure with the Department of Commerce for violations that had taken place before Viau became president of the company. OceanWorks just so happened to omit in its voluntary self-disclosure that it was working with a Chinese company to design a submarine for the PLA Navy.
OceanWorks was sentenced to a fine of $84,000 and Viau to time served and a $25,000 fine.
Full Department of Justice Notice: https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/pr/former-us-navy-contractor-and-its-president-sentenced-scheme-related-transfer-us-navy