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Wisconsin Researcher Accused of Economic Spying for China

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posted on Apr, 3 2013 @ 08:57 AM
Another one bites the dust. Even though at this time its not proven, I'm sure there will be a hearing where he just might admit/confess/plead guilty just like few others working for the same firm. On the contrary I wonder how many american scientists are caught for similar crimes living in China.

Hua Jun Zhao, 42, may have stolen the compound from a Medical College office in Milwaukee and taken steps to deliver it to Zhejiang University, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent’s affidavit in support of a criminal complaint dated March 29.

Hua Jun Zhao may have stolen the cancer-research compound from an office at the Medical College of Wisconsin and taken steps to deliver it to Zhejiang University in China.

Hua Jun Zhao may have stolen the cancer-research compound from an office at the Medical College of Wisconsin and taken steps to deliver it to Zhejiang University in China. Source: Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office via Bloomberg
.A copy of the complaint against Zhao was obtained today from the office of Milwaukee U.S. Attorney James L. Santelle.

“There is probable cause to believe that Hua Jun Zhao has committed the crime of economic espionage,” FBI Special Agent Gerald Shinneman wrote in his nine-page affidavit.

Zhao joins a Motorola Inc. engineer and a researcher at Dow AgroSciences LLC who, in separate cases, have been accused by the U.S. of economic espionage or stealing on behalf of Chinese entities.

Zhao is in the Milwaukee County Jail and no bail has been set, said Fran McLaughlin, a spokeswoman for the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department.

Hearing Set
Dean Puschnig, a spokesman for Santelle, declined to comment on the status of Zhao’s case. Theft of trade secrets to benefit a foreign government is punishable by as long as 15 years’ imprisonment. A preliminary hearing for Zhao is set for April 11 before Magistrate Judge Patricia Gorence in Milwaukee.

Juval Scott, a federal public defender representing Zhao, said in a phone interview today that her office had no information beyond what is contained in the criminal complaint.

“We’re looking forward to discovery,” Scott said. “This is an unusual case. Nationwide there have only been a few cases.”

Hanjuan Jin, a former Motorola software engineer, last year was sentenced to four years in prison for stealing trade secrets from the company. While accused of planning to share that information with a company that had ties to the Chinese military, she was acquitted of economic espionage.

A former Dow AgroSciences researcher, Kexue Huang, was sentenced to seven years and three months in federal prison in 2011 after pleading guilty in two consolidated cases to stealing trade secrets to benefit a Chinese university.


posted on Apr, 3 2013 @ 09:02 AM
looks like the Feds are reeling in all its long lines

posted on Apr, 3 2013 @ 09:35 AM
reply to post by hp1229

I saw this and thought how silly!
This is just more proof that BIG PHARMA does not care for anything but profits.
You would think that if companies really wanted to find cures, they would share a pool of information so this guy does not have to do what that guy did and failed.

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 04:23 PM
Zhao didn't just steal research - after cobbing the vials and copying the data, he then began deleting the original research files from the Wisconsin Medical College server. These files represented years of research by Dr. Marshall Anderson, and fortunately, were recovered. Even though the charges of economic espionage have been dropped (no doubt after some hefty interference by the China Consulate - Chicago), Zhao's acts go well beyond simple espionage and theft, constituting something more like economic and medical sabotage. He got off very, very light. If this had been an Iranian researcher who, after stealing American data and materials, shipping them to Iran, and then destroying the US's holdings, I'm pretty sure someone would have manged to get it classified as terrorism.

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