Ex-CEO gets prison sentence for microchip sales

Posted at 7:51 PM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-03 12:53:12-05

COVINGTON, Ky. -- The former CEO of Covington-based Valley Forge Composite Technologies Inc. was sentenced to 93 months in prison for selling military-grade microchips in violation of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

Louis Brothers, 63, of Hebron, Ky., entered guilty pleas in July on seven of the 31 counts he faced in U.S. District Court in Covington.

Brothers was indicted in August 2014 on charges that he sold “radiation-hardened microcircuits” and other “defense articles” to Hong Kong and China. The highly restricted microchips are used in military satellites and nuclear reactors.

Their sale was forbidden to China until 2015 and highly restricted to Hong Kong, requiring government approvals and a license from the U.S. State Department. 

Brothers admitted to five counts involving the sale of microcircuits to Shijie Electronics of Hong Kong between 2009 and 2013. He also admitted to engaging in conspiracies to sell the chips and launder money from sale proceeds.

IN DEPTH: Plea brought end to Brothers' unlikely story

He could've been sentenced to a combined 125 years of prison time for the seven charges.

As part of his plea arrangement, Brothers agreed to forfeit $1.1 million in net proceeds from the transactions, according to a summary of a sealed plea agreement presented in court last July by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McBride.