CEO, Engineer Indicted in Illegal Chemical Export Scheme

The two men attempted to ship chip-making chemicals to a Chinese company currently prohibited from receiving U.S.-made goods.


Tao "Jason" Jiang, president, CEO and CFO of California-based electronics distribution company Broad Tech System, and an equipment engineer have been indicted by a federal grand jury for the illegal export of chemicals to an overseas company with Chinese military ties.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Rhode Island, Jiang and engineer Bohr Winn-Shih, tried to order HiPR 6517 Photoresist and HPRD 441 Developer, chemicals essential in chip manufacturing, and ship it to a Chinese company currently prohibited from receiving U.S.-made goods.

Jiang and Winn-Shih submitted fake documents to shipping companies and the U.S. government, a violation of the Export Control Reform Act, to send the chemicals from a Rhode Island manufacturer to the Nanjing Electronic Devices Institute (NEDI). NEDI, which has several different names, is a state-owned Chinese entity that primarily engages in the manufacturing of electronic components as well as the research, development and production of core chips and key components in China’s military strategic early warning systems, air defense systems, airborne fire control systems and manned space systems, among other things.

On October 25, 2018, the Department of Commerce (DOC) stopped a shipment of 58 gallons of Photoresist to NEDI after an alert from a customs agent. The DOC told the chemical manufacturer that NEDI was on a list of prohibited companies and the product was returned to the maker.

After the shipment was stopped, Jiang tried to buy 94 gallons of Photoresist, nearly doubling the order and adding 131 units of Developer material. This time, they said the recipient was a different company, NTESY, in Nanjing, China, which given the timing, the chemical manufacturer found to be strange.

On January 29, 2019, Broad Tech received a wire transfer of nearly $66,000 ($65,984) from an account claiming to be from NTESY but controlled by NEDI.

As a result, Broad Tech Systems, 50-year-old Jiang, and 63-year-old Winn-Shih have been charged with conspiracy, violating the Export Control Reform Act, and money laundering conspiracy. They are, of course, presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Industrial Media reached out to Jiang, but he hasn’t responded to our request for comment.

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