Former NASA Employee Charged with Illegally Exporting Military Technology to South Korea
WASHINGTON – An Ohio man was charged with illegally shipping infrared military technology to South Korea, the Department of Justice announced today.
A criminal information was filed charging Kue Sang Chun, 66, of Avon Lake, Ohio, with one count of exporting defense articles on the U.S. Munitions List without first obtaining an export license or written authorization from the U.S. Department of State, and one count of knowingly making and subscribing a false U.S. individual income tax return.
Chun is a longtime employee at the NASA Glenn Research Center, though he is not accused of taking technology or related materials from the research center.
According to count one of the information, between March 2000 and November 2005, Kue Sang Chun knowingly exported and caused the export from the United States to the Republic of Korea (South Korea) of Infra Red Focal Plane Array detectors and Infra Red camera engines which were designated as defense articles on the U.S. Munitions List. The information charges that Chun did so without first obtaining an export license or written authorization for such export from the U.S. Department of State.
Count two charges Chun with knowingly making and subscribing a false U.S. individual income tax return for the year 2005, which failed to report approximately $83,399.08 of taxable income he earned during said tax year.
“This defendant is charged with violating important regulations designed to protect national security,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. “He did it for money and, according to the charges, he intentionally failed to pay taxes on the money he made from his crimes.”
“ The FBI and the Department of Justice are committed to the protection of U.S. defense technology, particularly that which is governed by the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations. As such, the FBI will continue to pursue all investigative leads in this matter, and is committed to the continued investigation of any and all persons or entities who may be involved in such criminal activities and those activities with national security implications,” said Steven Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Cleveland Field Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert W. Kern and Justin E. Herdman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, following an investigation by the Cleveland Offices of the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations.
An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.