Case Closure: Insider Threat Hanjuan Jin Gets 4 Years in Prison

Finally a closure to the Hanjuan Jin espionage case, an Insider Threat who worked at Motorola. I love this quote by the judge during sentencing:

“It is a technical world that we live in, and the most important thing this country can do is protect its trade secrets.”

Motorola trade secrets thief gets 4-year term (Chicago Sun Times)

A Chinese-born former Motorola software engineer convicted in February of stealing trade secrets from the company was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison.

Hanjuan Jin, 41, who was found guilty of three counts of stealing trade secrets but acquitted of the more serious charges of economic espionage on behalf of the Chinese government, must also serve three years’ supervised release and pay $20,000.

“You’re the first person with a master’s degree in physics from Notre Dame that I’ve ever sentenced, and it’s a sad day,” said U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo, who presided over the November bench trial of Jin, who waived right to a jury.

“The first chapter of your life is just a total American success story. The second chapter is of a person who after quitting Motorola, decides to come back on a very purposeful raid to steal technology, a very carefully designed raid conducted in the dead of night, in the after-hours when you knew there was a lesser chance you would be caught,” Castillo said.

“It is a technical world that we live in, and the most important thing this country can do is protect its trade secrets,” he added, before handing down the sentence. . . . .

. . . . Indicted in 2008, Jin was accused of returning to Motorola from China — after a yearlong medical leave — to steal cellular technology secrets from the Schaumburg-based tech giant which she intended to pass on to the Chinese military through a subcontractor, Beijing-based SunKaisens, which hired her.

Over several days in February 2007, Jin, a nine-year employee, downloaded over 1,000 pages of documents from Motorola, Inc. — including many the company considered trade secrets — and was about to board a one-way flight to China on Feb. 28, 2007, when she was subjected to a random search at O’Hare Airport.

The search turned up paper and computer hard drive copies of the Motorola documents, as well as classified documents discussing Chinese military efforts to obtain cellular technology, and monies stashed and undeclared, bringing to $31,000 the amount of cash on her person. . . . . (read the rest)

Women gets 4 years for stealing Motorola secrets (AP)

Caught Red-Handed: Motorola thief ‘betrayed country’ (ABC7 Chicago) Additional links

Prosecutors: Jin was Chinese spy, deserves long prison term (ABC7 Chicago)

Former Motorola worker gets 4 years for trade secrets theft (Reuters)

From the United States Attorney Northern District of Illinois:


A former software engineer for Motorola, Inc., now Motorola Solutions, Inc., a telecommunications company based in suburban Schaumburg, was sentenced today to four years in federal prison for stealing Motorola trade secrets relating to its proprietary iDEN technology.

The defendant, HANJUAN JIN, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in China, was secretly working for a Chinese company that developed telecommunications technology for the Chinese military when she was stopped by U.S. customs officials at O’Hare International Airport from traveling on a one-way ticket to China in February 2007. Customs officials seized more than 1,000 electronic and paper Motorola documents found in Jin’s possession as she attempted to leave the country.

Jin, 41, of Aurora and formerly of Schaumburg, a nine-year Motorola software engineer, conducted a “purposeful raid to steal technology,” U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo said in imposing the sentence in Federal Court in Chicago.

Jin was fined $20,000 and ordered to remain on home confinement with electronic monitoring until beginning her sentence on Oct. 25, 2012.

Jin was convicted of three counts of theft of trade secrets in a Feb. 8, 2012, ruling by Judge Castillo following a five-day bench trial in November 2011.

In a 77-page opinion, Judge Castillo found her not guilty of three counts of economic espionage for the benefit of the People’s Republic of China and its military.

At sentencing, however, Judge Castillo found by a preponderance of the evidence, that Jin “was willing to betray her naturalized country.”

Jin’s work for a Chinese telecommunications company and its Chinese military projects “demonstrates a lack of loyalty to the United States as well as Motorola. It is clear that [Jin] knew that she would be dedicating her education, talents and experience to the betterment of the Chinese military. To better serve this effort, she opted to steal technology that she had access to at Motorola,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing document.

Prosecutors argued that Motorola had invested hundreds of millions of dollars in its iDEN push-to-talk technology, which, in turn, provided the company with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

“This sentence reinforces the message that federal courts view the theft of trade secrets as a serious crime that warrants significant punishment,” said Gary S. Shapiro, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. “We will do everything we can to guard our economic and national security from the theft of American trade secrets, and this case shows that we can work with victim corporations to protect the trade secrets involved,” he added.

Mr. Shapiro announced the sentence with William C. Monroe, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service played a key role in the investigation.

According to the evidence, Jin began working for Motorola in 1998 and took a medical leave of absence in February 2006.

While on sick leave in 2006 and secretly from Motorola, Jin pursued employment in China with Sun Kaisens, the Chinese telecommunications company that developed products for the Chinese military.

Between November 2006 and February 2007, Jin returned to China and worked for Sun Kaisens on projects for the Chinese military.

During this same period of time, she was given classified Chinese military documents by Sun Kaisens to review in order to better assist with the Chinese military projects.

After receiving these documents, Jin agreed to review the documents and provide assistance.

On Feb. 15, 2007, Jin returned to the United States from China.

On Feb. 22, 2007, just two days after she became a naturalized U.S. citizen, Jin reserved a one-way ticket to China for a flight scheduled to depart on Feb. 28, 2007.

The following day, on Feb. 23, 2007, Jin advised Motorola that she was ready to end her medical leave and return to work at Motorola, without advising that she planned to return to China to work for Sun Kaisens.

On Feb. 26, 2007, Jin returned to Motorola, purportedly to resume full-time work, and was given no assignments by her supervisor.

Between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., Jin accessed more than 200 technical documents belonging to Motorola on its secure internal computer network. At about 9 p.m. that night, Jin returned to Motorola and downloaded additional documents.

At approximately 12:15 a.m. on Feb. 27, 2007, Jin was recorded twice leaving a Motorola building with hard copy documents and other materials.

During the day on Feb. 27, 2007, Jin sent an email to her manager in which she appeared to volunteer for a layoff at Motorola.

At about 10 p.m. that night, she returned to Motorola’s offices and downloaded numerous additional technical documents. Jin was later recorded leaving a Motorola building with what appeared to be a laptop computer bag.

As she attempted to depart from O’Hare bound for China on Feb. 28, 2007, authorities seized numerous materials, some of which were marked confidential and proprietary belonging to Motorola.

Some of the documents provided a detailed description of how Motorola provides a specific communication feature that Motorola incorporates into its telecommunications products sold throughout the world.

At the same time, authorities recovered multiple classified Chinese military documents written in the Chinese language that described certain telecommunication projects for the Chinese military. Many of these documents were marked “secret” by the Chinese military.

Authorities also recovered approximately $30,000 in U.S. currency that was in six different envelopes, each containing $5,000, all in hundred dollar bills.

The Government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven Dollear, Sharon Fairley, and Christopher Stetler.


Threats are Out There