Chinese cellphone equipment maker ZTE Corp. will plead guilty and pay the United States nearly $900 million for shipping sensitive U.S.-made technology to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions, the Justice Department said Tuesday.
The corporation “not only violated export controls that keep sensitive American technology out of the hands of hostile regimes like Iran’s,” the company also “lied to federal investigators and even deceived their own counsel and internal investigators about their illegal acts,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.
The settlement comes after five years of investigation and marks the largest Justice Department criminal fine in an export control or sanctions case, according to an official, speaking on anonymity to discuss the terms of the agreement.
“It’s a big deal. It sends a really strong message,” said Amanda DeBusk, chair of the international department at the law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed. “The U.S. isn’t going to be shy about going after companies connected to the Chinese government.” Click here to read more.