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Accused Head of Computer-Smuggling Ring Pleads Guilty

July 18, 1990

SEATTLE (AP) _ A man accused of heading a scheme to smuggle a sophisticated computer with military applications out of the United States pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court, officials said.

The computer was bound for the Soviet Union, said U.S. Attorney Mike McKay, who announced the plea.

Shiv Mohan of New Delhi, India, was ordered to pay $1.5 million in fines and forfeitures and could serve as much as 3 1/2 years in prison, said U.S. Attorney Mike McKay.

Mohan, 47, pleaded guilty to 24 counts of conspiracy to violate the Export Administration Act, money laundering statutes and other charges before U.S. District Judge William L. Dwyer. Sentencing was set for Sept. 10.

Mohan admitted involvement in smuggling a DEC VAX 8700 computer out of the United States. He said he transferred $490,000 from Great Britain to the United States to purchase the computer.

The computer was stopped in transit by commerce agents, who were tipped off and found it being shipped in several boxes marked ″spare parts,″ said Paula Boggs, assistant U.S. attorney.

Four other defendants have also pleaded guilty in the case.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 3 for Robert Casperson, 44, of Kirkland, Wash.; John Townsend, 41, of Sydney, Australia; David Whyte, 42, of Toronto and Sham Malhotra, 47, of New York.

Authorities still sought for two defendants who fled; Dr. Sidhartha Bose of London and T. Raganathan of Singapore.

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