Four years ago, this blog reported on the case of Harold and Nina Hanson, a Maryland couple accused of exporting autopilot devices to China without a license. The Hansons ultimately pleaded to felony false statement charges in connection with statements they made to BIS investigators. Nina was sentenced to 105 days in jail and one year of supervised release. Harold was sentenced to two years of supervised release. Both were required to attend an export training class conducted by BIS, which some wags will suggest was the severest punishment meted out to the Hansons.

Of course, criminal sentencing is never the end of the matter with federal regulators normally hanging around the doors of the jail to pile on more punishments when the defendants are ultimately released. And the same thing has happened here with BIS announcing two days ago that it was imposing a 15-year export denial order on Nina and Harold Hanson to settle charges that they made false statements to BIS investigators. Am I the only one who sees the irony in ordering the Hansons to go to export training school and then ordering them not to export anything for fifteen years? It seems not too far removed from forcing a convicted killer to go to anger management classes before executing him.