US indicts 2 Chinese over illegal exports

08:23, May 19, 2010      

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Wu Zhenzhou

Following a five-week trial in the United States, a federal district court jury in Massachusetts found two Chinesenationals guilty Monday of illegally conspiring to violate US export laws and illegally exporting electronic equipment from the US to China.

In a verdict handed down almost three days after it went to the jury, Wu Zhenzhou, 46, and Wei Yufeng, also 46, currently residing in the US, were found guilty of illegally exporting parts listed on the US Munition List (USML) and Commerce Control List (CCL). They were also convicted of filing false shipping documents with the US Commerce Department. Wei was also found guilty on an immigration count.

Chitron-US, a Massachusetts corporation owned by Wu, was also convicted of illegally exporting defense articles and commerce-controlled goods to China.

Wu, a Harvard MA graduate and founder of Shenzhen Chitron Electronics, was arrested December 5, 2008, at Chicago's O'Hare Airport while on his way to a Yale CEO leadership summit.

His ex-wife, Wei, an accountant at Chitron-US, and company manager Li Bo were also arrested the same day.

Both Wu and Wei were charged in a 32-count indictment with conspiring to violate US export laws, illegally exporting defense articles and commerce-controlled electronics to China as well as filing false shipping documents with the US Commerce Department.

Wei was also charged with immigration fraud.

The verdict was announced in Boston by Federal District Judge Patti Saris.

Both Wu and Wei said that they would appeal.

According to the US attorney's office, sentencing is set for August 17. Both Wu and Wei could face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and Chitron-US could face up to a $1 million fine.

Co-defendant Li, who previously pleaded guilty to making false statements about shipping documents, could face five years' imprisonment to be followed by three years' supervised release and a $1 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for July 22.

As the verdict was read at 11:45 am Monday EST, the courtroom was virtually silent, Shi Huaifang, a Shenzhen lawyer and member of Wu's defense team present at the verdict session, told the Global Times by phone.

Wu stood alongside his lawyer, remaining calm.

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