Washington: A Chinese national, who is a former employee of a New Jersey-based defence contractor, was sentenced to 70 months of imprisonment on the charges of exporting sensitive US military technology to his native country.
Sixing Liu aka `Steve Liu` was arrested in September 2012. He was convicted on nine of the 11 counts on charges related to selling state secrets to China.
According to court documents, in 2010, the 49-year-old Liu stole thousands of electronic files from his employer, L-3 Communications, Space and Navigation Division, located in Budd Lake, New Jersey.
These stolen files detailed the performance and design of guidance systems
for missiles, rockets, target locators and unmanned aerial vehicles. Liu stole the files to position and prepare himself for future employment in the China, the Department of Justice alleged.
As part of that plan, the convict delivered presentations about the technology at several Chinese universities, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and conferences organised by Chinese government entities.
On November 12, 2010, Liu boarded a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to China. Upon his return to the United States on November 29, 2010, agents found Liu in possession of a non-work-issued computer containing the stolen material.
The following day, Liu lied to agents of the Department of Homeland Security about the extent of his work on US defence technology, which the jury found to be a false statement, federal authorities alleged.
"Instead of the accolades he sought from China, Sixing Liu today received the appropriate reward for his threat to our national security: 70 months in prison," said US Attorney Paul J Fishman.
"As an innovation leader, the United States is a target for those seeking to cut corners at the expense of American businesses and consumers. As this sentence shows, the Department of Justice is making great progress in the fight against trade secret theft in order to protect the engines of our nation`s economic recovery," he said.