Software engineer Hanjuan Jin has just been sentenced to four years in prison for stealing trade secrets from Motorola. Prosecutors say she was using Motorola technology to aid the Chinese military.
Born in China and naturalized in the U.S., Jin was found guilty in February 2012 of three counts of theft of trade secrets but not guilty of economic espionage. Prosecutors had argued that Jin, 41, was part of a Chinese-run industrial espionage ring.
Jin’s case dates back to 2007, when she was found fleeing the U.S. with more than a thousand Motorola documents, classified Chinese military files, $30,000 in cash, and a one-way ticket to China. Some of the documents she was carrying pertained to walkie-talkie features that Motorola later incorporated into its push-to-talk phones.
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At the time of her apprehension, prosecutors say, she was in the employ of Chinese telecom company Sun Kaisens, which had been developing products for the Chinese military.
Jin had taken a medical leave of absence from Motorola in 2006. During that leave, she returned to China and began working with Sun Kaisens on military projects. She returned briefly to Motorola in February 2007 to gather documents and volunteer for a layoff.
Part of Jin’s sentencing today includes a $20,000 fine; she is also under house arrest until her prison term begins in October.