Brooklyn duo pleads guilty to supplying Russia with electronics for attacks on Ukraine

July 11, 2024 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the guilty pleas of Nikolay Goltsev and Salimdzhon Nasriddinov, who illegally exported electronics to Russia used in attacks on Ukraine. Photo: Yuki Iwaruma/AP
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Canadian national Nikolay Goltsev and Brooklyn resident Salimdzhon Nasriddinov pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy to commit export control violations for their roles in a global procurement scheme on behalf of sanctioned Russian companies, including those with Russian military contracts. 

The electronic components shipped by the defendants were later found in seized Russian weapons platforms and signals intelligence equipment in Ukraine. When sentenced, Goltsev and Nasriddinov each face up to 20 years in prison.

Breon Peace, United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, alongside top officials from the Department of Justice, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced the guilty pleas.

“The defendants flouted U.S. law to help Russia in its war against Ukraine, but they were stopped in their tracks and swiftly brought to justice,” Peace said. “This office will take on and successfully neutralize the complicated procurement networks that are making it possible for Russia to continue its unprovoked war against Ukraine.”

Goltsev and Nasriddinov admitted that they used two Brooklyn companies, SH Brothers Inc. and SN Electronics Inc., to unlawfully source, purchase and ship millions of dollars in dual-use electronics from U.S. manufacturers to sanctioned end users in Russia. 

These components were found in Russian military equipment such as the Torn-MDM radio reconnaissance complex, the RB-301B “Borisoglebsk-2” electronic warfare complex, the Izdeliye 305E guided missile, Ka-52 helicopters, Orlan-10 UAVs, and T-72B3 battle tanks, critical to Russia’s precision-guided weapons systems, according to prosecutors.

To carry out their scheme, the defendants purchased electronic components from U.S. manufacturers and arranged for them to be shipped to locations in Brooklyn. From there, they were unlawfully shipped to intermediary front companies in countries like Turkey, Hong Kong, India, China and the UAE, eventually reaching Russia. 

The defendants were aware of the military applications of the electronics they exported. In a message exchange in November 2022, Goltsev and Nasriddinov discussed the danger of shipping to Russia and the investigations by U.S. officials.

The criminal scheme was highly lucrative, with SH Brothers making over 300 shipments valued at more than $7 million to Russia. In a September 2022 message, Nasriddinov boasted about the success of their company, suggesting it should move onto the stock exchange with capital in the billions.

The government seized $20,000 in cash from Goltsev’s New York hotel room upon his arrest and approximately $1.68 million in connection with the export scheme. A third co-defendant, Kristina Puzyreva, pleaded guilty in February 2024 to conspiracy to launder the proceeds of the export scheme and is awaiting sentencing.

This case was part of the coordinated efforts by the Justice and Commerce Departments’ Disruptive Technology Strike Force and Task Force KleptoCapture. These interagency teams are designed to target illicit actors and prevent critical technology from being acquired by hostile nation-states.

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