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Press Release

Chinese Citizen Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Attempt to Export Restricted Technology

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Part Used in Satellites and Spacecraft

A 41-year-old citizen of the People’s Republic of China was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 18 months in prison for Conspiracy to Violate the Arms Export Control Act, announced United States Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  YUE WU was arrested October 23, 2014, as he prepared to leave the United States from the San Francisco International Airport.  WU had made an unrelated visit to the United States after spending more than two years attempting to obtain a type of accelerometer which is restricted for export from the U.S.  At the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones said, “Any time the national security of the United States is implicated, as it was here, that makes it a very serious offense for this and every other federal court.”

According to records filed in the case, in January 2012, WU began his efforts to obtain a type of accelerometer which is used in satellites and spacecraft and can only be exported from the United States if a license is issued by the U.S. State Department.  On multiple occasions WU attempted to convince a contact to send the accelerometers to China either disguised in a different export, or via a different country.  WU did not know that the person he was working with to obtain the equipment was an undercover law enforcement agent.  Over the next two years, via email and telephone communications from China, WU continued to try to get the contact to ship him the accelerometers through various schemes.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg.

Updated August 28, 2015

Intellectual Property
National Security