Chinese National Admits to Stealing Sensitive Military Program Documents From United Technologies
United Technologies helped design jet engines used in fighter craft similar to these jets.
A CHINESE national waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty Monday after being caught giving U.S. military secrets to China three years ago.
Yu Long, a U.S. permanent resident who also is a citizen of China, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in the theft of trade secrets knowing that the offense would benefit a foreign government. He also pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful export and attempted export of defense articles from the U.S.
Long, a former employee of United Technologies, faces maximum sentences of 15 to 20 years for those charges. He made his plea in New Haven federal court in Connecticut.
“Long admitted to stealing and exploiting highly sensitive military technology and documents, knowing his theft would benefit China’s defense industry and deliberately contravene the embargo on U.S. Munitions List technology the United States has imposed on China,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary B. McCord. “Export laws exist as an important part of our national security framework and disrupting and prosecuting this kind of economic espionage is one of the National Security Division’s highest priorities,” she said. According to court documents and statements made in court, from approximately May 2008 to May 2014, Long worked as a Senior Engineer/Scientist at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) in Connecticut. Long’s employment at UTRC included work on advanced fighter aircraft.
In 2013, he made it clear to agents outside of UTRC that he wanted to return to China to do research. During this period, he was able to appropriate UTRC secrets and share them with his colleagues in China, knowing full well their value to the Chinese military.
On Nov. 5, 2014, Long boarded a flight from Ithaca, New York to Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, with a final destination of China. During Long’s layover in Newark, CBP officers inspected Long’s checked baggage and discovered that it contained sensitive, proprietary and export controlled documents from another defense contractor.
Long was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on Nov. 7, 2014.
A review of Long’s digital media seized at the time of his arrest revealed voluminous files of military secrets. In short, the investigation revealed that Long took his laptop and a UTRC external hard drive with him to China in 2014, at which time there was a substantial body of highly sensitive, proprietary and export controlled materials present on that digital media. UTRC has confirmed that the hard drive that Long unlawfully retained and accessed in China contained not only documents and data from projects on which Long worked while employed at the company but also from projects on which he did not work to which he would have had access.
A sentencing date has not been set. Long has been detained since his arrest.
“In an effort to further his own career, this defendant stole an extraordinary amount of proprietary military program information from United Technologies and transported much of that stolen information to China,” said U.S. Attorney Deirdre M.Daly.