ZTE Corporation pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by illegally shipping U.S.-origin items to Iran, obstructing justice and making a material false statement.
ZTE agreed to pay a fine in the amount of $286,992,532 and a criminal forfeiture in the amount of $143,496,266, and submit to a three-year period of corporate probation, during which time an independent corporate compliance monitor will review and report on ZTE's export compliance program.
At the time that ZTE agreed to plead guilty, the ZTE simultaneously reached settlement agreements with the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control. In total ZTE has agreed to pay the U.S. Government $892,360,064. The BIS has suspended an additional $300,000,000, which ZTE will pay if it violates its settlement agreement with the BIS.
According to plea documents filed in the case, between January 2010 and January 2016, ZTE, either directly or indirectly through a third company, shipped approximately $32,000,000 of U.S.-origin items to Iran without obtaining the proper export licenses from the U.S. government.
Despite its knowledge of an ongoing grand jury investigation into its Iran exports, according to plea documents, ZTE took several steps to conceal relevant information from the U.S. government.
ZTE, based in Shenzhen, China, sells smartphones as well as networking gear throughout Europe and Asia and buys components from American companies including Qualcomm and Micron Technology.