July 15, 2008
BOULDER COMPANY CHARGED CRIMINALLY FOR “TRADING WITH THE ENEMY”
DENVER – Platte River Associates, a Boulder company, was charged in U.S. District Court in Denver this afternoon by Information for trading with the enemy, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. The president of Platte River Associates, Jay E. Leonard, was charged in a separate Information in a different case for unauthorized access of a protected computer. Leonard, and lawyers for the corporation, appeared in federal court this afternoon where they were advised of the charges pending against them.
According to the Platte River Associates Information, on or about October 2000, the defendant corporation allegedly provided specialized technical computer software and computer training, which was then used to create a model for the potential exploration and development of oil and gas within the territorial waters of Cuba, without first having obtained a license from the Secretary of the Treasury.
This case was investigated by special agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). If convicted of the trading with the enemy charge, the corporation faces a fine of up to $1,000,000 plus restitution.
According to the Information charging Platte River Associates President Jay E. Leonard, on October 30, 2005, the defendant allegedly used a wireless network connection at Houston International Airport to access a password protected computer website server located in Georgia, belonging to Zetaware Inc., a Texas Corporation. The Information charges that the unauthorized information obtained by the defendant was done by means of interstate commerce.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). If convicted of the charge, Leonard faces not more than 1 year imprisonment, plus a $100,000 fine, and restitution.
“Knowingly exporting sensitive U.S. technology to Cuba amounts to ‘trading with the enemy’ under federal law, and won’t be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Troy Eid.
“Illegally exporting controlled U.S. technology is tantamount to a breach of our borders,” said Jeffrey Copp, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Denver. “We will work with our law enforcement partners to identify, investigate and prosecute anyone who threatens our national security by exporting sensitive technology contrary to U.S. export laws.” Copp oversees a four-state area which includes: Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.
“Those who believe they can sit behind a computer, commit a crime, and get away with it are wrong,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge James Davis. “Mr. Leonard violated these laws for personal gain and will now have to face the consequences.”
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Mydans.
A Criminal Information is when a defendant waives their Constitutional right to be indicted by a federal grand jury on a felony charge.
The charges are only allegations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.