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Spring Businessman Charged With Conspiring to Commit Economic Espionage for Benefit of Chinese Manufacturing Company

Shan Shi, 53, of Houston, and Gang Liu, 32, a Chinese national, were charged yesterday by superseding indictment with conspiracy to commit economic espionage for the benefit of CBM-Future New Material Science and Technology Co. Ltd. (CBMF), a Chinese company based in Taizhou.  Both businessmen were previously indicted in June 2017 for conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets.  The superseding indictment issued yesterday also charged CBMF and its Houston-based subsidiary, CBM International, Inc. (CBMI), for their roles in the conspiracy.

The charges were announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu for the District of Columbia, Assistant Director Bill Priestap of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI’s Houston Field Office and Chief Don Fort of the IRS-Criminal Investigation.

According to court records, Shi and Liu conspired with others to commit economic espionage and steal trade secrets from a U.S. engineering firm that produces syntactic foam, a strong, lightweight material with commercial and military uses.  Shan; Liu; Uka Kalu Uche, 36, of Spring, Texas; Samuel Abotar Ogoe, 75, of Missouri City, Texas; Kui Bo, 41, a Canadian citizen who had been residing in the Dallas area; and Hui Huang, 33, a Chinese national, were indicted in June 2017 on a charge of conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets.  An additional defendant pleaded guilty to the charge in December 2017.  The superseding indictment includes that charge, adds the conspiracy to commit economic espionage count against Shi and Liu, and includes a federal money laundering conspiracy count against Shi.  CBMF and CBMI have also been indicted on all three charges.

The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to commit economic espionage is 15 years in prison.  The maximum for conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets is 10 years, and the maximum for conspiracy to commit money laundering is 20 years.  The charges also carry potential financial penalties.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes.  If convicted of any offense, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.  The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

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