No bail for man accused in Russian technology sale

HOUSTON -- A federal judge denied bail Thursday to the owner of a Texas microelectronics company accused of conspiring to sell advanced technology to the Russian military.

U.S. Magistrate George Hanks Jr. in Houston ordered Alexander Fishenko and two other defendants to federal custody in Brooklyn, N.Y., where they face numerous charges.

Fishenko likely would appeal the detention order there, said his attorney, Eric Reed.

Fishenko, owner of Houston-based Arc Electronics Inc., and seven of his employees were arrested last week. Prosecutors say Fishenko instructed co-workers and associates to cover their tracks as they conspired to sell the highly regulated microelectronics.

Prosecutors arguing against bail said Thursday that the Kazakh-born naturalized American citizen was a flight risk. Reed argued his client wouldn't flee because he has a 7-year-old son in the Houston area.

Two female defendants ordered to Brooklyn are Viktoria Klebanova and Sevinj Taghiyeva. Another man arrested in Houston, Shavkat Abdullaev, waived the bail request.

All are accused of scheming to illicitly sell military technology to Russia, starting in 2008.

In a case with echoes of the Cold War, U.S. authorities say Fishenko's company obtained highly regulated technology and clandestinely exported it to Russia for use by that country's military and intelligence agencies. The microelectronics could have a wide range of military uses, including radar and surveillance systems, weapons guidance systems and detonation triggers, U.S. authorities say.

Reed has said he plans to review the charges against his client with a critical eye. The Russian Foreign Ministry has noted the defendants are not charged with espionage.

Fishenko allegedly coached the companies in Russia that were working with his firm to remove all references to a known supplier to the Russian military.

According to court documents, Fishenko was born in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan and graduated from a technical institute in St. Petersburg before coming to America in 1994. In his initial asylum application, Fishenko stated he had no prior military experience, but elsewhere he claimed to have served in a Soviet military intelligence unit in Berlin in the 1980s, according to court records.

Fishenko filed paperwork with the Texas Secretary of State to form a for-profit corporation in 2001. His company proved to be successful, earning him about $50 million in gross revenue since 2002.