Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim announced Thursday a Chinese national had been sentenced to three years in prison for violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
On April 21, 2017, 53-year-old Fuyi Sun, aka “Frank” pleaded guilty to his involvement in a scheme to illegally export high-grade carbon fiber utilized in military, defense, drones and aerospace applications to China without a license. M60 carbon fiber is primarily utilized for anti-terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation purposes.
Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “For nearly five years, Fuyi Sun tried to skirt U.S. export laws to obtain high-grade carbon fiber for the Chinese government. He spent thousands of dollars and took years of covert actions to avoid detection of his plan to purchase this highly protected material. Unbeknownst to Sun, however, he wasn’t making a deal with an unscrupulous company– he was dealing with undercover federal law enforcement agents, who foiled his clandestine plot.”
Sun contacted an undercover Department of Homeland Security agent in an attempt to acquire M60 Carbon Fiber with a license. He recommended several security measures that he believed would prevent detection from U.S. intelligence and suggested referring to the carbon fiber as “banana” and M60 carbon fiber as “acrylic fiber.” In 2016, Sun voiced that he was willing to pay $62,000 for 450 kilograms of “banana.” To avoid detection, he suggested removing the barcodes from the M60 carbon fiber before transshipment, according to court documents.
Sun traveled from China to New York to purchase the M60 carbon fiber on April 11, 2016. He told undercover agents that he had previously worked in the Chinese missile program and had ties with Chinese military. He agreed to pay $23,000 in cash for the purchase.
Homeland Security agents arrested Sun on April 13, 2016.