Australian National Sentenced to Prison Term for Exporting Electronics to Iran

Defendant Admitted Shipping Aircraft Parts to an Iranian Company in Violation of United States Embargo
March 21, 2019

Weapon Program: 

  • Missile
  • Military

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An Australian man was sentenced today to 24 months in prison on four counts of violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which criminalizes knowing transactions with Iranian entities without a license from the U.S. Department of Treasury. 

David Russell Levick, 57, of Cherrybrook NSW, Australia, pled guilty to the charges on Feb. 1, 2019, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  He was sentenced by the Honorable James E. Boasberg.  In addition to the prison term, Levick must pay a forfeiture amount of $199,227, which represents the total value of the goods involved in the illegal transactions.  Following completion of his prison term, Levick will be subject to deportation proceedings.

The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers; U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu of the District of Columbia; Acting Special Agent in Charge William Higgins of the Commerce Department’s Office of Export Enforcement Boston Field Office; Assistant Director in Charge Nancy McNamara of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Special Agent in charge Peter C. Fitzhugh of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Boston and Special Agent in Charge Leigh-Alistair Barzey of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Northeast Field Office.

According to the plea documents, Levick was the general manager of ICM Components, Inc., located in Thornleigh Australia.  He solicited purchase orders and business for the goods from a representative of a trading company in Iran.  This person in Iran, referenced in court documents as “Iranian A,” also operated and controlled companies in Malaysia that acted as intermediaries for the Iranian trading company.

Levick then placed orders with U.S. companies on behalf of “Iranian A” for the goods, which were aircraft parts and other items that “Iranian A” could not have directly purchased from the United States without the permission of the U.S. government.

The defendant admitted to procuring or attempting to procure the following items for transshipment to Iran, each of which required a license from the Treasury Department prior to any export to Iran:

  • Precision Pressure Transducers.  These are sensor devices that have a wide variety of applications in the avionics industry, among others, and can be used for altitude measurements, laboratory testing, measuring instrumentations and recording barometric pressure.
  • Emergency Floatation System Kits.  These kits contained a landing gear, float bags, composite cylinder and a complete electrical installation kit.  Such float kits were designed for use on Bell 206 helicopters to assist the helicopter when landing in either water or soft desert terrain.  
  • Shock Mounted Light Assemblies.  These items are packages of lights and mounting equipment designed for high vibration use and which can be used on helicopters and other fixed wing aircraft.  

When necessary, Levick used a broker in Tarpon Springs, Florida, through whom orders could be placed for the parts to further conceal the fact that the parts were intended for transshipment to “Iranian A” in Iran.  Levick intentionally concealed the ultimate end-use and end-users of the parts from manufacturers, distributors, shippers, and freight forwarders located in the United States and elsewhere.  In addition, Levick and others structured their payments between each other for the parts to avoid trade restrictions imposed on Iranian financial institutions by other countries.  Levick and ICM wired money to companies located in the United States as payment for the parts.

The activities took place in 2007 and 2008.  Levick was indicted in February 2012.  At the request of the United States, Australia arrested him for the purposes of extradition, and Australia extradited him to the United States in December 2018.  He has remained in custody here.

The investigation was conducted by agents from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry Security and the Boston Office of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Assistance was provided by the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas A. Gillice and Brenda Johnson, and investigated by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Denise Cheung and John Borchert, all of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, as well as former Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Petalas of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and Trial Attorney Will Mackie of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.