Man Who Sold Missile Technology to India Receives 35-Month Sentence

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A 47-year-old businessman was sentenced to 35 months in federal prison yesterday for illegally exporting more than $2 million in ballistic missile technology to India.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina also ordered that Parthasarathy Sudarshan, who most recently lived in South Carolina but is a citizen of Singapore, pay a $60,000 fine. U.S. authorities have expressed concerns about sending sensitive technology to India because it could aid in the development of the country's nuclear weapons program or get into the hands of rogue nations. Urbina echoed those concerns yesterday when handing out the sentence.

"In an age where it only takes one series of mishaps . . . to set off nuclear destruction, everybody has to be especially vigilant," Urbina said.

Sudarshan pleaded guilty in March to trafficking in ballistic missile components and conspiring to violate restrictions on the proliferation of conventional weapons.

Prosecutors alleged in court documents that Sudarshan and his company, Cirrus Electronics, made illegal shipments of the components, which are used to help guide ballistic missiles, to companies and the Indian government from about 1998 through 2006. Most of the export restrictions were put in place in 1998 after India conducted nuclear tests.

"He did this to make money and to do well," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Bratt argued in court yesterday. "The laws were interfering with that, they were something for him to get around."

Sudarshan's attorney, Reid H. Weingarten, argued that his client had already spent 15 months in jail since his arrest and deserved to be released immediately.

Also, Weingarten argued, Sudarshan had sold technology to companies in India, a friendly country, not a rogue nation.

"The bottom line here is that justice has been done," Weingarten said. "This was not a man who was out to harm the United States."

After being released from prison, Sudarshan will be deported, officials said.


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