Saturday, June 21, 2008, 6/21/2008 11:16:00 AM

Trade Secrets Sentence for Convicted Engineer

From the Associated Press, a story about Xiaodong Sheldon Meng, a 44 year-old engineer who admitted he tried to sell fighter-pilot training software to the Chinese Navy.

He was sentenced in federal district court in the Northern District of California on Wednesday to 24 months in prison, in what the AP refers to as the first sentencing for a newly defined intellectual property crime, stealing trade secrets to benefit a foreign government under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996.

Meng was raised in China but holds Canadian citizenship. He faced up to 25 years in prison on two felony counts: economic espionage and exporting controlled military technologies. Because he had no prior criminal record, prosecutors agreed to seek a shorter sentence.

He was indicted in December 2006 on 36 felony counts alleging he attempted to sell the programs to the Royal Thai Air Force, the Royal Malaysian Air Force and the Navy Research Center in China.

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