Motorola Trade Secrets Thief Gets 4-Year Term

NY Daily News, August 29, 2012

A Chinese-born American convicted of stealing trade secrets from Motorola was sentenced Wednesday to 4 years in prison in a case that prosecutors hoped would send a message to those who might be tempted to siphon vital information from U.S. companies.

Hanjuan Jin, who worked as a software engineer for Motorola Inc. for nine years, was stopped during a random security search at O’Hare International Airport on Feb. 28, 2007, before she could board a flight to China. Prosecutors say she was carrying $31,000 and hundreds of confidential Motorola documents, many stored on a laptop, four external hard drives, thumb drives and other devices.

U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo found Jin guilty in February of stealing trade secrets but acquitted her of more serious charges of economic espionage, explaining that the evidence fell short of proving she stole the information on behalf of a foreign government or entity.

Prosecutors alleged that among the secrets she carried were descriptions of a walkie-talkie type feature on Motorola cellphones that prosecutors argued would have benefited the Chinese military.

Jin’s lawyers say the naturalized U.S. citizen was not an agent of China and took the files merely to refresh her knowledge after a long absence from work. They asked the judge for probation and said in a court filing last week that “Jin has overwhelming remorse and regret” for her actions and “continues to suffer from the collateral consequences of her admittedly poor choice.”


Prosecutors say the former University of Notre Dame graduate student began downloading files at her Chicago-area Motorola office after returning from an extended medical leave just a few days earlier.


Even before returning to Motorola to download files over the several days in February 2007 prosecutors say Jin had already begun working for China-based Sun Kaisens, a telecommunications firm that government attorneys say develops products for China’s military.


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  • Michael C. Scott

    This makes me feel good about being a federal felon who can’t find work in my old field.  Who are our glorious plutocrats going to hire instead?

    • IstvanIN

       They will hire “born in (fill in)-Americans, of course.

  • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

    A passage from Jared Taylor’s WHITE IDENTITY: Racial Consciousness in the  21st Century (2011) comes to mind:

    “China is hungry for American technology and devotes a major part of its huge espionage effort to the United States.  The Chinese method of spying is different from that of the classic Soviet technique of sending trained professionals to burrow deep into enemy organizations.  Beijing gets intelligence from thousands of part-time amateur spies: students, businessmen, and Chinese citizens of the target countries.  According to the US Government Intelligence Threat Handbook, 98 percent of the Americans the Chinese approach for information are Chinese-Americans: ‘Ethnic targeting to arouse feelings of obligations is the single most distinctive feature of PRC [Peoples Republic of China] intelligence operations . . .’

    “Actual arrests, which, according to government sources, ‘are just the tip of the iceberg of an already-large and increasingly capable PRC intelligence effort,’ show that some Chinese-Americans are indeed susceptible to racial-nationalist appeals.”  (pp 212-213)

    I’m sure John Engelman has this passage memorized.

  • JDInSanDiego

    Four years?  How about a firing squad instead?

  • APaige

    If Asians are so smart why do they have to copy and/or steal? When people say Asians are smart at math and science what they really mean is that they are smart at WESTERN math and science-but the true intelligence is coming up with advancements. The last Asian invention was… the compass?

    • anonymous_amren

       There’s no “if Asians are so smart”. Asians ARE so smart, it’s a scientifically proven fact that’s beyond any doubt or argument.

      Why do they have to copy and/or steal? Because of their personality differences. They are conformists at heart. Criticising or changing the status quo is a bad thing for them. Independent thought is frowned upon. And they don’t want to look silly in front of their peers by coming up with new ways of doing things. They have too many conservatives and not enough liberals.

      The last Asian invention was no doubt a few minutes or seconds ago though.

  • sarah stein

    And I thought Motorola only hired Indians. 

  • IstvanIN

    Race before country.  A nation can not be diverse and safe and successful.

  • The__Bobster

    For the most part, H-1b’s are mediocre, but they are cheap ….and vitual slaves who cannot leave the company that sponsored them.

  • Up to my neck in CA

    “Jin’s lawyers say the naturalized U.S. citizen was not an agent of China and took the files merely to refresh her knowledge after a long absence from work.” Sure thats’s it!!
    “Jin has overwhelming remorse and regret” for her actions and “continues to suffer from the collateral consequences of her admittedly poor choice.” Only because she got caught!

    Money is her only motivator!!

  • fuzzypook

    Awhile back I was at an art fair here in town. I got into conversation with one of the artists. She made sculptures and small animals with metal.  Sounds bizzare I suppose, but it was very impressive. She told me that she and the other artists had to keep an eye out for chinese with cameras. She said they will go to art fairs, take pictures, and go home and mass produce thier handmade work.