Crime & Justice

Ex-Boeing engineer sentenced to 15-plus years for economic espionage

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A Southern California man who worked in the aerospace industry over four decades is the first person convicted of economic espionage under federal law. The man faces more than a dozen years in prison.

A federal judge has sentenced Dongfan “Greg” Chung of Orange to 15-and-a-half years in prison for compromising national security. Last summer the judge convicted him of passing aerospace and defense-related secrets to the Chinese government.

The 74-year old worked in aerospace during the nearly four decades since he became a naturalized U.S. citizen. During the trial, government prosecutors showed pictures of documents Chung had stacked all over his house in violation of policies set by his employer, Boeing.

The papers discussed developing technology for radar on the space shuttle, and fuelling systems for booster rockets on manned space vehicles. Chung's lawyers said the government proved Chung had documents in violation of company policy, but not that he’d shared classified information with China.

Chung asked for mercy at his sentencing and said he loves the United States. His lawyers say he will appeal his sentence.