LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A former sales executive for an aircraft parts company is on the run after being charged with illegally sending military items to the United Arab Emirates and Thailand, prosecutors said Thursday.
John Nakkashian, former vice president for international sales at Air Shunt Instruments Inc., has been indicted on four counts of violating the Arms Export Control Act, according to the U.S. attorney's office. Officials said he vanished during the investigation in 2007 and was charged in May.
Prosecutors allege Nakkashian in 2003 and 2004 exported components for the F-5 fighter jet to Dubai and a gyroscope used on military helicopters to Bangkok without first obtaining the required export licenses from the U.S. State Department.
Richard Lee, lead prosecutor in the case, said he is not sure where Nakkashian has fled but said investigators are seeking domestic and international help in the search.
He said the announcement of Nakkashian's disappearance was delayed until Thursday while plea negotiations were worked out with the company. The U.S. attorney's office said Air Shunt on Tuesday pleaded guilty to making false statements on a shipper's export declaration and was fined $250,000.
Air Shunt repairs and overhauls military aircraft components from its base in Chatsworth, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
Lee said the company has cut ties with Nakkashian and has since improved its procedures and implemented ethics training programs.
A man who answered the telephone Thursday at Air Shunt hung up without commenting.
Nakkashian faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted on all counts.