WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – 3D Systems Corp on Monday agreed to pay up to $27 million to settle with the U.S. for illegally exporting to China controlled design drawings for military electronics and spacecraft, among other violations.
Rock Hill, South Carolina-based 3D Systems, which provides 3D printing and other services to customers in the U.S. and abroad, emailed design documents, blueprints and technical specification to Quickparts.com, Inc., its then-subsidiary’s office in China for price quotes, the Commerce Department said.
The emails included design drawings for aerospace technology that required U.S. export licenses. It also illegally sent documents to Germany where it had a server for employee emails without the required licenses.
“Sending export-controlled blueprints for aerospace and military electronics to China is detrimental to U.S. national security,” Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Matthew Axelrod said.
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Besides the Commerce Department, the company also settled with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of State.
The Justice Department settlement involves 3D’s improperly transmitting technical data to China in connection with NASA and Department of Defense contracts, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas said in a statement.
Its settlement calls for $2.27 million payable within 30 days, and another $2.27 million it fails to pay at least that amount to the other agencies.
The State Department settlement imposes a civil penalty of $20 million, with half suspended so long as the money is used to strengthen the company’s compliance program.
The Commerce Department penalty is for $2.8 million.
In addition to the aerospace documents, the Commerce Department said, 3D Systems exported metal alloy powder to China without a license, although it is restricted for national security and nuclear nonproliferation reasons.
“The company is pleased to have reached a settlement with the agencies and remains committed to continuing to enhance its export controls program,” 3D Systems said in a statement.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Commerce took action against three companies at the same Wilmington, North Carolina, address, for similar violations: sending technical drawings and blueprints of satellite, rocket and defense technology to China.
Reporting by Karen Freifeld; Editing by Chris Sanders and Sandra Maler
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