First economic espionage trial begins in US

June 3, 2009 02:51

A Chinese-born engineer stole trade secrets critical to the US space program and passed them to China for three decades without detection, prosecutors said Tuesday in the first economic espionage case to reach trial in the United States. Prosecutors laid out their case against Dongfan "Greg" Chung, 73, in US District Court in Santa Ana. The Chinese-born engineer has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, economic espionage, lying to federal agents, obstruction of justice and acting as a foreign agent. In his opening statement, Assistant US Attorney Greg Staples said Chung gained the trust of Boeing Co. and his previous employer, Rockwell International, and used his job as a stress analyst at the companies to steal more than 250,000 pages of sensitive documents. The documents included trade secrets on a phased array antenna for the US space shuttle and on the Delta IV booster rocket, according to government allegations.

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