Three Chinese nationals who earned advanced degrees from the University of Southern California and three others have been charged with stealing wireless technology from a pair of U.S. companies.
“This case demonstrates that the U.S. is committed to protecting U.S. companies’ trade secrets and their proprietary business information from theft. This is an important issue for the United States.”
— State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke
Federal prosecutors say Hao Zhang, Wei Pang and Huisui Zhang met at the university and conspired to steal technology from Skyworks Solutions Inc. and Avago Technologies soon after graduating in 2006. Both companies are publicly traded chip suppliers for Apple’s iPhones and manufacture other communications-related products.
A 32-page indictment charging the six with economic espionage and trade secret theft was unsealed after Hao Zhang was arrested Saturday at Los Angeles International Airport after arriving from China to attend a scientific conference. The five others are believed to be in China.
Federal officials say foreign governments’ theft of U.S. technology is one of the biggest threats to the country’s economy and national security. They are particularly concerned with China.
“Wei Pang boasted in the same email that the technology is worth $1 billion a year in the phone market alone, according to the indictment.”
State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said Tuesday the U.S. government takes “economic espionage” very seriously.
“This case demonstrates that the U.S. is committed to protecting U.S. companies’ trade secrets and their proprietary business information from theft. This is an important issue for the United States,” he told reporters in Washington.
A spokesperson at the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. The Chinese consulate in San Francisco was unaware of the indictment and declined to comment.
“The indictment alleges that the men stole ‘recipes, source code, specifications, presentations, design layouts and other documents marked as confidential.’”
The indictment alleges that the three USC alums began plotting in late 2006 to steal trade secrets from the U.S. companies where Hao Zhang and Wei Pang worked.
Months after their 2006 graduation, Wei Pang sent an email to China discussing the trio’s plan to use purloined U.S. trade secrets to set up a factory in China to manufacture technology that eliminates interference from wireless communications, according to the indictment. Wei Pang boasted in the same email that the technology is worth $1 billion a year in the phone market alone, according to the indictment. Read the rest of this entry »
Nina Culver reports:A Cheney man is accused of entering his ex-girlfriend’s Liberty Lake home last month, burning several items and secretly installing a wireless camera to spy on her in her bedroom.
“It was streaming live…It was very well hidden.”
— Liberty Lake police Chief Brian Asmus
The ex-girlfriend called Liberty Lake police on March 27 to report coming home to find several items that Jeremy F. Alvis, 41, had given her while they were dating burned in the backyard fire pit. Other items he had purchased for her were piled on her bed with his photo placed above them, according to court records.
“The woman called police again March 31 to report finding a camera hidden in a light fixture above her bed. She said she was suspicious that Alvis was spying on her and asked a friend with computer skills to check her home.”
Alvis is facing charges of residential burglary, malicious mischief and voyeurism in connection with the incident. He was released on his own recognizance after a brief court appearance Wednesday. His attorney, Mark Hodgson, said in court that the allegations were “salacious” and his client has no criminal history. State records indicate that Alvis is the owner of Vertical Works LLC, a landscaping company, and applied for a marijuana producer license with the state Liquor Control Board. That application still is pending.
“The friend found evidence that a device was hooked up to her home computer’s Wi-Fi.”
The ex-girlfriend told police that Alvis had a key to her home and when she asked for it back after they broke up he claimed to have lost it. A neighbor told police that he saw Alvis leave the home March 27 carrying a mattress pad that was missing from the bed, according to court documents. Read the rest of this entry »