On August 14, 2009, BIS has announced the following penalties for alleged violations of the Export Control Violations.
A U.S. semiconductor company in of Greensboro, N.C. has agreed to pay a $190,000 civil penalty in connection with exports of "spread-spectrum" modems to China. This product is classified in 5A001 according to BIS.
The allegations involved 14 unlicensed exports of these items to China with knowledge that the shipments would violate the EAR. BIS also alleged that on 13 occasions the company made false or misleading statements in connection with the submission of shipper’s export declarations (SEDs).
While the company voluntarily disclosed the violations, a manager at the company whose responsibilities at the time of the violations included export control compliance has agreed to pay a $15,000 civil penalty for making false and misleading statements in the course of the investigation.
Specifically, the manager was charged with telling a BIS investigator that an outside export control consultant had confirmed that the company’s products were not export-controlled to any region where the company was marketing or selling its products, even though she had been repeatedly advised that certain of the company’s products may have been classified under the Commerce Control List and may therefore have required an export license.
The lesson from this case is the importance of the keeping the written record. The written record would protect yourself, otherwise the situation may lead to "he said so, or she said so" confusion.
(Source: http://www.bis.doc.gov/news/2009/bis_press08142009.htm )