U.S. indicts 4 for illegal tech exports to India

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of a U.S. electronics supplier and three employees have been indicted for shipping controlled U.S. computer technology with missile applications to India, court documents made available on Monday showed.

Cirrus Electronics founder and chief executive Parthasarathy Sudarshan will appear in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to face charges that include export violations, international arms trafficking and conspiracy, according to the indictment.

Sudarshan and Mythili Gopal, the company’s international sales manager, were arrested in South Carolina on March 23, a U.S. Justice Department spokesman said.

The pair are accused of shipping to India heat resistant computer chips, capacitors, semiconductors, rectifiers and resistors -- all of which have applications in missile guidance and firing systems -- the indictment said.

It said the items were shipped between 2003 and 2006 to Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, Bharat Dynamics Ltd. and the Aeronautical Development Establishment -- key state agencies in India’s missile and aerospace sector.

Exports to those firms in India require licenses from the U.S. Department of Commerce on national security grounds.

Sudarshan and Gopal, Indian nationals residing legally in the United States, are accused of having used false documents about the end-users to ship the prohibited computer parts to India through Cirrus offices in South Carolina and Singapore.

The indictment said Cirrus made the illicit shipments working closely with “Co-conspirator A,” an unidentified Indian government official located in Washington who was not charged.

Two other Cirrus employees, Akn Prasad in Bangalore and Sampath Sundar in Singapore, have also been indicted, the documents showed.

Additional reporting by James Vicini