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Permit Revoked for Firm to Ship System to Brazil : Export: Satellite Technology Management has been focus of federal probe since shipment to Iran was seized in May.

July 27, 1993|DEBORA VRANA | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

COSTA MESA — In an abrupt about-face, the Commerce Department has reversed its decision to allow a technology company accused of violating federal export laws to ship a satellite communications system to Brazil.

Satellite Technology Management in Costa Mesa said Monday that it received notice late Friday that the Bureau of Export Administration was withdrawing the favorable classification advisory it had issued July 20. The withdrawal forced the company to stop shipment of a $1.5-million satellite system to Brazil.

The notice from export enforcement agents cites a "computer entry error" as the cause of the withdrawal, STM said.

In May, a $1.5-million STM shipment headed to Iran was seized by the government on the docks in Long Beach. In an affidavit in support of its search warrant, a government agency alleged that STM "willfully and knowingly" had broken the law.

Emil Youssefzadeh, president of STM, said last week that the affidavit's allegations were repudiated by the ruling allowing the Brazilian shipment.

Pending a clarification of the withdrawal, STM is halting all shipping activities, said Stephen Strohman, spokesman for the company. "We're hopeful this will be clarified rather rapidly," he said.

Export enforcement official Brooks Ohlsen in Irvine said he could not comment because export officials in Washington are handling the case. Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles have said they cannot comment on an ongoing criminal investigation.

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