Businessman Admits To Exporting Sensitive Tech To Russia, Faces Severe Penalties

Douglas Edward Robertson, a businessman from Kansas, has admitted to illegally exporting aviation technology to Russia, violating U.S. export control and money laundering laws. The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Robertson’s guilty plea, which detailed his involvement in exporting sophisticated avionics to Russia before and after the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Robertson, 56, formerly held the position of vice president at KanRus Trading Company Inc. He confessed to participating in a conspiracy to evade U.S. export regulations by falsifying export documentation and undervaluing shipments. Despite the heightened tensions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Robertson continued these unlawful exports without obtaining the required licenses from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The DOJ identified two accomplices in Robertson’s scheme: Cyril Gregory Buyanovsky, the former president of KanRus, and Oleg Chistyakov, a Latvian national who worked as a broker. In one instance, they managed to send a repaired Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in 2021, circumventing sanctions that had been imposed on the FSB for its role in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election interference.

Robertson is facing severe penalties, including up to 20 years in prison for each export control violation count and money laundering charge, with sentencing set for October 3. The DOJ reiterated its resolve to enforce export controls to safeguard U.S. technology and deter international threats.