Super Micro busted

Components vendor Super Micro Computer has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of unlawfully exporting computer components to Iran. The charge was filed by the US Attorney’s Office. Super Micro has coughed up a US$150,000 fine and admitted that it sold 300 motherboards to Dubai-based Super Net in late 2001 and early 2002, knowing that the products were destined for re-export to Iran.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  September 21, 2006

Components vendor Super Micro Computer has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of unlawfully exporting computer components to Iran. The charge was filed by the US Attorney’s Office. Super Micro has coughed up a US$150,000 fine and admitted that it sold 300 motherboards to Dubai-based Super Net in late 2001 and early 2002, knowing that the products were destined for re-export to Iran. Super Net paid some US$27,600 for the 300 P4SBA+ motherboards, which support Intel Pentium 4 processors. “At the time of the export the items were controlled for reasons of national security, and exporting them to Iran without a licence was illegal,” read a statement issued by the US Attorney’s Office, part of the US Department of Justice. The motherboards at the centre of the case are no longer controlled for export. Super Micro’s guilty plea came after an investigation by agents of the Bureau of Industry and Security Office of Export Enforcement, of the US Department of Commerce, which regulates exports, and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. In addition to paying a US$150,000 fine, California-based Super Micro implemented a new export control programme. Since the initiation of that programme — in February 2004 — the US government has been monitoring Super Micro’s exports and has found no evidence of further export violations. According to Department of Commerce records, the case against Super Micro represents one of the first criminal convictions in the US for exporting items controlled for national security to Iran.

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