A Glenview resident and his father are facing federal charges for aiding North Korea in the production of weapons of mass destruction after being linked to the supply of weapons machinery to North Korea, according to a Department of Justice (USDOJ) press release.
Yueh-Hsun Tsai, also known as “Gary Tsai,” 36, a Taiwanese native and a legal permanent U.S. resident, was arrested at his Glenview home last Wednesday.
His father, Hsien Tai Tasi, also known as “Alex Tsai,” 67, was arrested the same day in Estonia. He remains in custody there, waiting to be extradited to the United States
Both men were charged with three offenses — one count of conspiring to defraud the United States in its enforcement of laws and regulations prohibiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, one count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by conspiring to evade the restrictions imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department on Alex Tsai and two of his companies and one count of money laundering, according to the USDOJ release.
They are now accused of supporting the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID), which was designated as a WMD proliferator by President George W. Bush in June 2005.
Alex Tsai "has been supplying goods with weapons production capabilities to KOMID and its subordinates since the late 1990s, and he has been involved in shipping items to North Korea that could be used to support North Korea's advanced weapons program," according to the Treasury Department.
According to court documents, federal agents believe the Tsai men, an unnamed Taiwanese associate of Alex Tsai and a network of companies all may have engaged in the export of U.S. goods and machinery that could be used to produce weapons of mass destruction.
The Tsai men and their unnamed associate were linked to at least three companies based in Taiwan that have purchased and exported, or attempted to purchase and export, United States machinery used to fabricate metals with a high degree of precision, according to the release.
The charges also allege that in 2009, Gary Tsai formed a machine tool company named Factory Direct Machine Tools in Glenview, which was in the business of importing and exporting machine tools, parts and other items to and from the United States.
Violating IEEPA carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine; money laundering carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine; and conspiracy to defraud the United States carries a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the release.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.