Chinese spy sentenced to four years for stealing Motorola secrets


Jin began working as a software engineer for Motorola, a telecommunications company based in Schaumburg, Ill., in 1998. In 2006, she began secretly working for a Chinese telecom company that develops technology for the Chinese military, according to prosecutors. 

As part of her work for the Chinese company, she returned to China in 2006 and 2007 to work on projects for the Chinese military, telling Motorola she was on sick leave.

In February 2007, she stole thousands of pages of classified documents and computer drives from Motorola. 

Jin bought a one-way ticket back to China, but U.S. Customs officials stopped her at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. They seized her documents, many of which were marked as confidential Motorola information.

She was also carrying classified Chinese military documents and $30,000 in hundred-dollar bills, split into six envelopes.

“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 U.S. 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."

Jin was convicted in February of stealing trade secrets, but was found not guilty on three counts of economic espionage.