updated 06:20 pm EST, Tue November 8, 2011
Found with documents while getting on China flight
A former Motorola Software Engineer went on trial yesterday, accused of committing economic espionage. Hanjuan Jin, a naturalized US citizen has been accused of stealing telecommunications technology and trying to pass it on to her native country, China, its military, and a Chinese business, Kai Sun News Technology. If convicted, Jin could face up to 15 years in prison.
Jin was arrested on February 28, 2007, as she boarded a flight at O'Hare International Airport, bound for China with a one-way ticket. She allegedly had 1,000 company documents, $30,000 in cash, and classified documents from the Chinese military that were caught during a routine random check.
Jin has waived her right to a jury trial, opting instead to go before a US District Judge, Judge Ruben Castillo, in Chicago. Her lawyer is claiming that none of the documents found on Ms. Jin's person, describing a "push-to-talk" mobile phone technology, contain secrets valuable to Motorola, calling them dead-end or obsolete.
Motorola disagrees, and in a separate civil action, has sued Jin, as well as Lemko Corp., a Schaumberg-based telecommunications company founded and run by former Motorola executives. Jin is accused of being on Lemko's payroll at the same time she was working for Motorola. Lemko has denied the charges and has filed a countersuit.
In 2006, while still working for Motorola, Jin took a one-year medical leave of absence, during which she was also employed by Kai Sun. [via Bloomberg]