[JURIST] Former Boeing [corporate website] engineer Dongfan "Greg" Chung was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison, following his July 2009 conviction [JURIST report] under the 1996 Economic Espionage Act [DOJ backgrounder]. Chung, a native of China, was convicted by the US District Court for the Central District of California [official website] in a non-jury trial of stealing corporate trade secrets related to the US Space Shuttle program and turning them over to China. Chung was convicted on charges [indictment, PDF] related to more than 300,000 sensitive documents that were found in his home, including conspiracy to commit economic espionage, six counts of economic espionage to benefit a foreign country, one count of acting as an agent of the Peoples Republic of China, and one count of making false statements to the FBI. Prosecutors recommended a 20-year sentence [AP report] as a way to deter future cases of espionage against the US. The 15-year sentence is viewed as a life sentence for Chung who is 74 years old.
Chung was arrested [JURIST report] in February 2008. He worked for Rockwell International from 1973 until its defense and space unit was acquired by Boeing in 1996, and he continued to work for Boeing as an employee and then as a contractor through 2006. Chung's arrest resulted from an investigation into the case of Chi Mak [JURIST report], a Chinese-American engineer convicted [BBC report] in 2007 of conspiring to smuggle sensitive naval intelligence data to China and sentenced [JURIST report] to more than 24 years in prison.