U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Government Website

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Safely connect using HTTPS

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  2. News Room
  3. Ukrainian National Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Charge Stemming From Attempt to Export Dual-Use High Precision Jig Grinder

Ukrainian National Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Charge Stemming From Attempt to Export Dual-Use High Precision Jig Grinder to Russia After HSI-led Investigation

Release Date: May 24, 2024

NEW HAVEN, C.T. — On May 23, Stanislav Romanyuk, 39, a citizen of Ukraine last residing in Estonia, pleaded guilty in New Haven federal court to a money laundering charge stemming from his role in a scheme to violate U.S. export laws and regulations by attempting to smuggle a dual-use export-controlled item to Russia following a counterproliferation investigation led by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

According to the investigation, beginning in 2018, Romanyuk, who operated Estonia-based BY Trade OU, conspired with Vadims Ananics and Eriks Mamonovs, both citizens of Latvia who operated CNC Weld, a Latvia-based corporation, and with individuals in Russia and a Russian company. The group conspired to violate U.S. export laws and regulations to smuggle to Russia a 500 Series CPWZ Precision Jig Grinder that was manufactured in Connecticut.

A jig grinder is a high-precision grinding machine system that does not require a license to export to European Union countries, but does require a license for export and reexport to Russia because of its potential application in nuclear proliferation and defense programs. Romanyuk and his co-conspirators knew that the jig grinder could not be exported from the United States to Russia or any country outside the European Union, and they did not apply for, receive or possess a license of authorization from the U.S. Department of Commerce to export it. The authorization is required by the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 and the Export Administration Regulations, which restrict the export of items that could make a significant contribution to the military potential of other nations or that could be detrimental to U.S. foreign policy and national security.

In April 2019, Romanyuk brokered the sale of the jig grinder from By Trade OU to a Russian company using funds wired to from the Russian company to purchase the jig grinder from Sapphire Universal, LLP, a company in Latvia. Sapphire Universal, which Romanyuk knew was in the business of obtaining dual use items from the United States for sale in Russia, used CNC Weld as the claimed recipient and end-user of the jig grinder because no license was required to export the jig grinder to Latvia from the United States.

In August 2019, to finalize the purchase of the jig grinder, Ananics and others traveled to Bridgeport, where Ananics informed the sellers that the jig grinder was being purchased for the benefit of CNC Weld. In September 2021, Romanyuk provided a false statement to Estonian authorities about the jig grinder transaction to cover up his involvement in this scheme.

U.S. authorities, working with Latvian authorities, intercepted the jig grinder in Riga, Latvia, before it was to be shipped to Russia. Approximately $826,000 in funds involved in the purchase of the jig grinder were subsequently forfeited, and a substantial portion of the forfeited funds were transferred to Estonia to provide aid to Ukraine.

Romanyuk was arrested on June 13, 2022, in Estonia. He has been detained since his arrest. Romanyuk pleaded guilty to international money laundering conspiracy, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. A sentencing date is not scheduled.

Ananics and Mamonovs pleaded guilty to related charges and await sentencing.

This investigation is being conducted by HSI field offices in New Haven and the Hague, Netherlands; the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Export Enforcement in Boston and Portland, Oregon; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division. The Prosecutor-General’s Office of the Republic of Latvia, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Estonia, the Latvian Tax and Customs Police, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, and the Latvian State Police have assisted the investigation.

HSI special agents assigned to the agency's counterproliferation investigations program are on the front lines of the U.S. government's fight to prevent the illicit export and transfer of sensitive military and dual-purpose technology and defense articles to transnational criminal organizations, terrorist groups, adversarial nation states and other nefarious entities operating around the world. As the only U.S. government agency with full statutory authority to enforce all U.S. export control laws relating to military items, controlled dual-purpose goods and sanctions violations, HSI stands at the forefront of the government’s counter-proliferation mission.

Last Updated: 05/24/2024
Was this page helpful?
This page was not helpful because the content