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.