American Shipper

PPG Paints exec pleads guilty to export violations

   The U.S. Justice Department said Xun Wang, a former managing director of PPG Paints Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., a Chinese subsidiary of U.S.-based PPG Industries, pled guilty Tuesday to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. 
   Wang, 51, entered the guilty plea before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She faces a maximum sentence of five years of incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000. No sentencing date was set. As part of her plea agreement with the government, Wang has agreed to cooperate with law enforcement. 
   “At the end of last year, the Chinese subsidiary of a U.S. company pleaded guilty to illegally exporting high-performance coatings for use in a Pakistani nuclear reactor,” said U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., in a statement. “Today we are pleased to see the former managing director of that subsidiary accept responsibility for her role in the crime.” 
   Concurrently, Wang has settled an administrative proceeding brought by the Department of Commerce regarding the same subject matter as her criminal case. As part of her settlement agreement, Wang has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $200,000 with another $50,000 payment suspended, and to be placed on the Commerce Department’s Denied Persons List for a period of five years with an additional five years suspended. As a Denied Person, Wang will be prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in any transaction involving a commodity, software or technology exported, or to be exported, from the United States that is subject to Commerce Department regulations. 
   “Today’s plea agreement and civil settlement highlight the fact that individuals — and not just companies — face the denial of export privileges, fines, and imprisonment for violations of our export control laws,” said Eric Hirschhorn, Commerce’s undersecretary for industry and security. “Our special agents will continue to employ our unique authorities to investigate and disrupt illegal procurement and proliferation networks anywhere in the world.” 
   In both the criminal and administrative cases, Wang is accused of conspiring to export, re-export, and transship high-performance epoxy coatings in 2006 to the Chashma 2 Nuclear Power Plant (Chashma II) in Pakistan, a nuclear reactor owned and/or operated by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), an entity on the Commerce Department’s Entity List. 
   The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission is the science and technology organization in Pakistan responsible for Pakistan’s nuclear program, including the development and operation of nuclear power plants in Pakistan. In November 1998, following Pakistan’s first successful detonation of a nuclear device, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security added the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, as well as its subordinate nuclear reactors and power plants, to the list of prohibited end users under the Export Administration Regulations.