Edison man admits conspiring to export firearms to Ukraine


An Edison man admitted on May 22 that he conspired to export, without a license, firearms and other items subject to the export control list, according to information provided by U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

Gene Shilman, 62, a native of the Soviet Union, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and the Export Control Reform Act, according to the statement.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, from May 2014 through October 2018, Shilman entered into a conspiracy that included a conspirator living in Ukraine. Shilman exported defense articles regulated by the Arms Export Control Act. He exported to Ukraine items that are on the commerce control list as well as items with both defense and civilian uses that are subject to the Export Control Reform Act. Shilman never obtained the required export license from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Shilman ordered and received firearm components and parts, ammunition, night-vision goggles and bulletproof vests from various vendors and firearms dealers in the United States, according to the statement. He received numerous wire transfers from overseas locations to pay for the purchase of these items. Shilman repackaged and shipped these munitions to overseas locations without the required export licenses.

In September 2018, Shilman completed a Customs Declaration form at a U.S. Post Office in Middlesex County, on which he falsely represented that the contents of the parcel destined for Ukraine contained tools and cartridges. An inspection of the parcel revealed that it actually contained multiple upper receivers, ammunition magazines and threaded barrels for handguns and a set of front and rear sights for a handgun, according to the statement..

The conspiracy count with which Shilman is charged carries a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison.