Former Boeing Engineer Charged with Economic Espionage in Theft of Space Shuttle Secrets for China
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A former Boeing engineer was arrested this morning after being indicted last week on charges of economic espionage and acting as an unregistered foreign agent of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), for whom the engineer stole Boeing trade secrets related to several aerospace programs, including the Space Shuttle.
Dongfan “Greg” Chung, 72, of Orange, Calif., who was employed by Rockwell International from 1973 until its defense and space unit was acquired by Boeing in 1996, was arrested without incident at his residence by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and investigators with NASA. Chung, who is expected to make his initial court appearance here this afternoon, was named in an indictment returned last Wednesday by a federal grand jury.
The indictment accuses Chung of eight counts of economic espionage, one count of conspiracy to commit economic espionage, one count of acting as an unregistered foreign agent without prior notification to the Attorney General, one count of obstruction of justice, and three counts of making false statements to FBI investigators.
“Certain foreign governments are committed to obtaining the American trade secrets that can advance the development of their military capabilities. Today’s case demonstrates that the Justice Department is equally committed to foiling those efforts through the arrest and prosecution of those who conduct economic espionage at the expense of our economic and national security,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Kenneth L. Wainstein.
Chung, a native of China who is a naturalized United States citizen, held a Secret security clearance when he worked at Rockwell and Boeing on the Space Shuttle program. He retired from the company in 2002, but the next year he returned to Boeing as a contractor, a position he held until September 2006. The indictment alleges that he took and concealed Boeing trade secrets relating to the Space Shuttle, the C-17 military transport aircraft and the Delta IV rocket. Chung allegedly obtained the materials for the benefit of the PRC.
United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien stated: “Mr. Chung is accused of stealing restricted technology that had been developed over many years by engineers who were sworn to protect their work product because it represented trade secrets. Disclosure of this information to outside entities like the PRC would compromise our national security.”