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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit
03/22/2019

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Australian national sentenced for illegally exporting aircraft parts to Iran

BOSTON – An Australian national was sentenced March 21 to two years in federal prison on four counts of violating 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, who previously pled guilty to the charges in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Feb. 1, 2019, 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 John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Jessie K. Liu, U.S. Attorney of the District of Columbia; Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), William Higgins, Acting Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Commerce Department’s Office of Export Enforcement Boston Field Office; Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Leigh-Alistair Barzey, Special Agent in Charge of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Northeast Field Office.

According to court documents, Levick, as general manager of ICM Components, Inc., in Thornleigh, Australia, solicited purchase orders and business for aircraft parts from a representative of a trading company in Iran. The Iranian business partner 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 the Iranian partner for the aircraft parts and other items that the Iranian partner was prohibited from directly purchasing from the United States without the permission of the U.S. government.

Among the items that Levick admitted to procuring or attempting to procure for transshipment to Iran were the following items, which all require a Treasury Department license in order to export to Iran, but which were never obtained:

  • Precision Pressure Transducers, which are sensor devices with 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 that contain landing gear, float bags, composite cylinder and a complete electrical installation kit. These 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, which are packages of lights and mounting equipment designed for high vibration use and which can be used on helicopters and other fixed wing aircraft.

Levick sometimes 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 his Iranian business partner and intentionally concealed the ultimate end-use and end-users of the parts from manufacturers, distributors, shippers, and freight forwarders located in the U.S. and elsewhere. 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 his company 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 special agents from HSI, the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry Security. 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.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/22/2019