Crime & Justice

Engineer convicted in economic espionage case

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A federal court has convicted a veteran engineer in the first economic espionage case to go to trial. KPCC’s Cheryl Devall says the case involved sensitive documents about the space shuttle and other aerospace projects.

The engineer, 73-year-old Dongfan “Greg” Chung, had worked for Boeing and Rockwell International for three decades. In a non-jury trial a federal judge found Chung guilty of hoarding 300,000 pages of documents in his house.

Boeing officials in Huntington Beach had ordered employees to store the documents related to the program in a secure place at the end of each workday. Federal district judge Cormac Carney wrote that the trust Boeing had placed in Chung to safeguard its trade secrets obviously meant very little to him, and that Chung instead chose to serve the People’s Republic of China – which he proudly proclaimed as his motherland.

During the last 30 years, prosecutors said, Chung traded sensitive military and aerospace information with Chinese engineers and officials several times. He’s in federal custody until his sentencing in November. Chung could face more than 90 years in prison.