US Aviation trade convicts’ Chinese man over espionage

“A federal jury convicted Yanjun Xu, a Chinese national and Deputy Division Director of the Sixth Bureau of the Jiangsu Province Ministry of State Security, of conspiring to and attempting to commit economic espionage and theft of trade secrets. The defendant is the first Chinese intelligence officer to be extradited to the United States to stand trial,” read the statement.

“This conviction of a card-carrying intelligence officer for economic espionage underscores that trade secret theft is integral to the PRC government’s plans to modernize its industries,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

“But this conviction also serves notice that the United States will not sit by as China, or any other nation-state, attempts to steal instead of researching and developing key technology. Instead, and with the support of our allies, we will continue to investigate, prosecute, and hold accountable those who try to take the fruits of American ingenuity illegally,” Olsen added.

“The jury, by its guilty verdict here today, held Xu accountable for his classic spy techniques,” said Acting US Attorney Vipal J. Patel for the Southern District of Ohio.

According to the statement, Xu, who was arrested in Belgium in April 2018, was convicted of two counts of conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage, which carries a maximum statutory penalty of 15 years in prison for each count and a fine of up to USD 5 million.

Xu was also convicted of conspiracy to commit trade secret theft and two counts of attempted theft of trade secrets, which carries a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison for each count and a USD 250,000 fine. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors, the statement added.