Guan Lei, 29, of Alhambra California, was arrested pursuant to a one-count criminal complaint unsealed Friday afternoon during his initial appearance in U. S. District Court.
Guan is being investigated for possibly transferring sensitive U.S. software or technical data to China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) and falsely denying his association with the Chinese military – the People’s Liberation Army – in connection with his 2018 visa application and in interviews with federal law enforcement. Guan later admitted that he had participated in military training and wore military uniforms while at NUDT. One of Guan’s NUDT faculty advisors in China was also a lieutenant general in the PLA who developed computers used by the PLA General Staff Department, the PLA General Armament Department, Air Force, military weather forecasts, and nuclear technology. NUDT is “suspected of procuring U.S.-origin items to develop supercomputers with nuclear explosive applications” and has been placed on the Department of Commerce’s Entity List for nuclear nonproliferation reasons, according to the affidavit. In addition to destroying the hard drive, the complaint alleges that Guan concealed digital storage devices from investigators and falsely told federal officials that he had not had any contact with the Chinese consulate during his nearly two-year stay in the U.S.
Case is being investigated by the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service.
The FBI has terrible form in this regard:
PROSECUTING CHINESE “SPIES: AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF THE ECONOMIC ESPIONAGE ACT. by Andrew Chongseh Kim†,” CARDOZO LAW REVIEW [Vol. 40:749]
Conclusion: This Study finds that Chinese and other Asian-Americans are disproportionately charged under the Economic Espionage Act, receive much longer sentences, and are significantly more likely to be innocent than defendants of other races.
Although it is possible that Asian-Americans are prosecuted more often because they commit espionage more often, it is also possible that they are prosecuted more often because the DOJ has focused more resources to detect and punish spying related to Asian countries and defendants and so spends fewer resources investigating espionage conducted by defendants of other races.
This Study also suggests that the DOJ is more likely to file charges prematurely, based on weak evidence, when the case involves an Asian- American defendant.
Although some of these disparities may reflect legitimate concerns over the risk of flight, they may also reflect implicit biases with regard to the loyalty of Asian-Americans to the United States.
In addition, this Article reveals that the traditional justifications for pretextual prosecutions generally do not apply to convictions of Asian-Americans originally suspected of espionage for false statements. Rather, these convictions harm the accountability of the DOJ, may serve to punish otherwise innocent minorities simply for being wrongfully profiled, and, ultimately, may force loyal Americans to refuse to cooperate with investigators for fear of being punished for false statements.
By addressing racial biases and creating more transparent processes for charging and resolving espionage cases, however, we can reduce the number of innocent Americans charged with espionage and minimize the harm caused by these unfortunate cases.
Well I feel so much better knowing the FBI and Homeland are on the case. They obviously have the countrys’ best interests at heart. I’m sure the other million Chinese spies in the country are shaking in the boots knowing our most trusted institutions are after them.
FEEBS caught a spy!!
I thought they were too busy trying (ineptly) to undo the 2016 election.
Wonder what they’re doing for this election?
It tears at my guts when I see a description like the one in this press release. It is happening too often including to US citizens (like General Flynn). Is is too much to ask that the actual criminal act that is the “one count” be specified with the actual evidence? So many questions. The enrollment at NUDT may have once helped justify the VISA but is it now a liability because of change of political climate? Is being “associated” with the PLA part of criminality even when you are not actually a member? Was there something meaningful on the storage devices that were “concealed”? Did this person contact the consulate to ask how he could get home should his VISA be revoked? I could go on and on. If we don’t want him here why not just send him home?