Former United Technologies Corp. scientist Yu Long, 38, pleaded guilty to stealing classified documents and military intel and taking them to China. Long is a Chinese citizen who was a legal resident in Connecticut for six years, and was a leading figure working on U.S. military aerospace programs.
Long specifically worked on the F119 used by the F-22 Raptor fighter jet and F135 used by the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet engine. After being caught relaying details of his programs to his home country, Long has waived his right from indictment. Acting Assistant U.S. Attorney General Mary B. McCord released the following statement on Long’s predicament:
“Long admitted to stealing and exploiting highly sensitive military technology and documents, knowing his theft would benefit China’s defense industry and deliberately contravene the embargo on U.S. Munitions List technology the United States has imposed on China. Export laws exist as an important part of our national security framework and disrupting and prosecuting this kind of economic espionage is one of the National Security Division’s highest priorities.”
The plan for Long to bring back vital information from UTC to China has been developing since 2013, when Long stated to a few undisclosed individuals outside of the company that he wished to work on research projects for Chinese state-run universities using knowledge and information acquired at UTC. Long indeed landed a job at the Shenyang Institute of Automation in May 2014 after leveraging information from UTC to Chinese administrators.
Later that November, Long was caught leaving for another trip to China at Newark Airport. His bag contained more sensitive information related to UTC projects. Following his arrest, his recovered laptop and hard drives held “voluminous files protected by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and Export Administration Regulations, and voluminous files proprietary to various U.S. companies.”
U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly released the following statement on Long’s actions of military tech theft:
“In an effort to further his own career, this defendant stole an extraordinary amount of proprietary military program information from United Technologies and transported much of that stolen information to China. His actions, which he knew would benefit China, not only violated his employment agreement and damaged the company, but have threatened our country’s national security interests.”
A UTC spokesperson also released a statement this week following Long’s guilty plea of theft and conspiring against the U.S.:
“United Technologies is aware of today’s events and fully supported and cooperated with the government as they conducted their investigation. As a global company strongly committed to maintaining the highest ethical standards, we have a zero tolerance policy for ethics violations.”
H/T: Hartford Courant
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