Russian video game maker gets a year in jail for buying F-16 manuals on eBay

A court in Utah has sentenced Oleg Tishchenko to a year and a day in prison for buying F-16 and F-35 fighter jet manuals, which he says he was using to design a flight simulator.

Despite the long sentence, Tishchenko, 42, will be deported to Russia on June 19, according to court filings released Wednesday, having been credited with timed served while pending trial.

Tishchenko, who works for leading combat flight simulator designer Eagle Dynamics, apparently took his quest for realism too far when he purchased the US fighter jet manuals from an online auction in 2011. He then had them shipped to Moscow by an American man from Texas he met in the game-makers’ online forum.

A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter approaches a KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft to refuel ©  REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Despite him saying he was assured the manuals were outdated and there was no warning about them being classified, prosecutors argued that he had still broken arms exports laws as combat systems manuals require export licenses for shipment overseas. Matters were made worse by the fact that Tishchenko proceeded to copy the manuals and sell them to people in other countries from Russia.

The game maker was first extradited to the US after being arrested in Georgia in March on charges of conspiring against the United States. Although he had already been indicted years earlier, authorities were unable to arrest him at first as Russia has no extradition agreement with the US.

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