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Chinese nationals charged with conspiring to illegally export U.S. tech to China – UPI.com

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The Justice Department on Thursday announced the unsealing of an indictment that charged two Chinese nationals with a scheme to illegally export U.S. technology to a Chinese company. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

April 26 (UPI) — Two Chinese nationals have been charged with conspiring to illegally export semiconductor-manufacturing machinery to a prohibited Chinese company, federal prosecutors said.

The four-count indictment unsealed Thursday accuses Han Li, 44, and Lin Chen, 64, of conspiring from at least May 2015 and August 2018 to export a DTX-150 Automatic Diamond Scriber Breaker machine to Changdu GaStone Technology Company.

Made by Santa Rosa’s Dynatex International, the DTX-150 Automatic Diamond Scriber Breaker is used to cut thin semiconductors used in electronics, and requires a license and authorization to export to CGTC, which was added to the Department of Commerce’s Entity List in August 2014.

Prosecutors said the pair tried to acquire the machine for CGTC through intermediary Jiangsu Hantang International to obfuscate the blacklisted Chinese company’s involvement. The court document said the Chinese nationals lied by presenting Jiangsu as the purchaser of the product.

As part of their efforts to conceal CGTC, Li and Chen told Dynatex to not list CGTC as the consignee of the shipment.

“The export restrictions at issue in this case were put in place to prevent the illicit procurement of commodities and technologies for unauthorized military end use in the People’s Republic of China,” U.S. Attorney Ismail Ramsey for the Northern District of California said in a statement.

Chen was arrested Wednesday in Chicago, while prosecutors said they believe Lin is in China.

They have each been charged with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, IEEPA violations, smuggling and false electronic export information activities.

If convicted, they each face up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a $1 million fine for each of the IEEPA charges, 10 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for the smuggling charge and five years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for the export charge.

The indictment was unsealed more than six years after a two people were charged with a scheme that illegally exported technology and integrated circuits with military applications to CGTC.

Yi-Chi Shih, of Hollywood Hills, Calif., pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 63 months for the conspiracy in July 2021, while co-conspirator Kiet Ahn Mai, of Pasadena, Calif., was sentenced to 19 months after pleading guilty in December 2018.

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