The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the decision a Santa Ana-based judge made last year about an Orange County man with espionage ties to The People's Republic of China.
The appellate court agreed that 75-year-old Dongfan "Greg" Chung, an aerospace engineer from Orange, is guilty of economic espionage and passing trade secrets from Boeing, his former employer, over to Chinese officials.
As the Weeklyreported last February, when Chung was sentenced to almost 16 years in federal prison, U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney said he hoped Chung's long prison sentence would send a message to China: "Stop sending your spies here."
, Chung took and concealed Boeing trade secrets about the Space Shuttle for the benefit of China. When FBI and NASA agents searched Chung's house in 2006, they found more than 250,000 pages of documents from Boeing and Rockwell, another of Chung's former employers. Some of the documents stashed in a crawl space beneath his house, included decades worth of information about the Space Shuttle.
And, Chung might not have ever been caught if not for a fellow Orange County-based spy. The feds found about Chung during their investigation of Chi Mak, who, as detailed in aWeekly column from 2008, was sentenced to 24 years and five months in federal prison for trying to export military technology to China.
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According to a San Francisco Chronicle story, the appellate court judges cited a lack of evidence supporting Chung's "scholarly or literary intentions" for having the documents and also his "history of delivering information to China," in their decision to uphold Carney's previous decision.
Chung's San Clemente-based attorney Thomas H. Bienert, didn't return a call for comment.