Just when you thought you had your stereotypical Chinese spy pegged, a 41-year-old Notre Dame graduate is convicted of selling trade secrets to a Chinese tech firm.
Today, a federal judge convicted a Hanjuan Jin, a Chinese-born American, of stealing confidential information from Motorola after she was caught carrying a one-way ticket to China, $31,000 and 1,000 Motorola documents (stored digitally) at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in 2007. The Associated Press reports:
Federal prosecutors say Jin, a University of Notre Dame graduate who rose through the Motorola ranks, began downloading the documents at her Chicago-area office after returning from an extended medical leave two days earlier.
Prosecutor Christopher Stetler told the court Jin "led a double life" as a seemingly loyal company worker who was actually plotting to steal her employer's secrets.
Prosecutors say Jin started working with a Chinese tech company and she understood the trade secrets would be passed on to China's military. However, Jin's attorney made a pretty good case (though apparently not good enough) that the trade secrets in question were pretty low-tech. (This is Motorola after all. Are we worried the Chinese are finally going to crack the secrets behind the Razr?) "Her lawyer, [Beth] Gaus, told the judge the technology at issue, including a walkie-talkie type feature on Motorola cellphones, was far from cutting edge and would have been of little use to China's military." Thank God Nextel's trade secrets haven't yet been compromised.