Penalties for Violating U.S. Export Control Regulations and Sanctions

Penalties can apply to individuals and the university

International Traffic in-Arms Regulations (ITAR)

Maximum $1,000,000 per violation or imprisonment of up to twenty years, or both pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 2778(c)

Export Administration Regulations (EAR)

Export Administration Act of 1979:

Criminal: Maximum $1,000,000 per violation or imprisonment of up to twenty years, or both
Administrative: Maximum $11,000 per violation or $120,000 per violation for items involving national security

International Emergency Economic Powers (IEEPA) Enhancement Act:

Criminal: Maximum $100,000 per violation or imprisonment of up to twenty years, or both
Administrative:  Maximum of greater of $250,000 per violation or twice the amount of the transaction   

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

Trading with the Enemy Act (TEWA) of 1917, 50 USCS Sec 5

Criminal (Willful Violation): Maximum $1,000,000 per violation, and up to $100,000 in individual fines, per violation or imprisonment of up to ten years, or both
Criminal (Knowing Violation): Maximum $100,000 or up to ten years in prison, or both, per violation
Civil: Maximum of $65,000 per violation

International Emergency Economic Powers (IEEPA) Act, 20 USCS Sec 1701

Criminal: Maximum $1,000,000 per violation or imprisonment of up to twenty years, or both
Civil: Maximum $250,000 per violation, or twice the amount of the transaction

Administrative Penalties

  • Warning Letter: are administrative determinations that a violation has occurred, but that a “good faith effort” (mitigating factor) to comply with the law and to cooperate with an investigation has been shown with no aggravating factors.
  • Denial Order / Interim Suspension:  deny the sanctioned party any U.S. export privileges and any access to U.S.-origin goods and technology, from any source, for a specified period of time or indefinitely and may be narrow in scope, such as a restriction on the export of specific items or to specific destinations.
  • Seizure & Forfeiture: Commodities or technical data which have been, are being, or are intended to be exported or shipped from or taken out of the U.S. in violation of the Export Administration Act (EAA) or International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) are subject to being seized and and forfeited including, the vehicles carrying such commodities or technical data.
  • Debarment: includes the exclusion from practice or the denial of export privileges, including the revocation of contracts, loss of funding, debarment from government contracts or implementation of additional compliance measures. 

Enforcement

The University of Tennessee - On September 3rd, 2008, the U.S. government convicted retired University of Tennessee professor Dr. J. Reece Roth of illegally exporting information regarding U.S. Air Force sponsored research to one or more foreign nationals without an appropriate export license. One of the foreign nationals in question was a Chinese graduate research assistant in Dr. Roth’s laboratory. Dr. Roth was convicted on 18 counts and was sentenced to 48 months in prison.

Texas Tech University – On December 1, 2003, Microbiologist Dr. Thomas Butler, a preeminent authority on infectious diseases at Texas Tech University, was sentenced to two years in prison for hand-carrying 30 vials of mislabeled bubonic plague bacteria into the United States from Tanzania, improperly transporting them within the country, and lying about them to authorities.