Jonathan Poling Pens Article for The Export Practitioner on DOJ’s “All Tools” Approach to Enforcement

The Export Practitioner has published Akin Gump international trade partner Jonathan Poling’s article “Justice Using ‘All Tools’ Approach to Export Violations and Cyberespionage” on the Department of Justice (DOJ) National Security Division’s approach to its international enforcement efforts against violations of export control, trade sanctions laws and increasing cyberespionage and cybercrime cases.

According to Poling, the “all tools” approach entails the simultaneous use of many mechanisms, such as criminal prosecution, punitive trade-related measures and international diplomacy, by multiple government agencies in order to “cease foreign, illegal activity targeting the United States.”

Illustrating with the case of Li Fangwei, an alleged supplier to Iran’s Defense Industries Organization and Aerospace Industries Organization, Poling notes that the government used this approach to indict Fangwei on multiple charges and disgorge nearly $7 million of his profits.

On the benefits of using this approach, Poling explains how some of the elements were used against Fangwei:

“By leveraging sanctions and trade designations, the U.S. government put foreign governments and companies on notice of its enhanced scrutiny of trade violations. These measures also helped shut down some of Li’s illegal activities… the FBI’s “Most Wanted” listing put Li on other international watchlists, and [the State Department’s] $5 million reward gave his cohorts an opportunity to profit from sharing information about Li rather than working with him.”

With regard to cybercrime and cyberespionage, Poling writes that cracking down on these criminal activities has been a DOJ priority for almost a decade. Criminal prosecution is believed to be a crucial element of the DOJ’s approach that strips cybercriminals of their anonymity and sends them an important message. He notes that the “all tools” approach, including  “more multi-charge indictments from Justice and expanded designations from export control agencies,” would be applicable in the fight against cyberespionage and cybercrime as well as export control and trade sanctions violations.

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