By Peter Cheney
The Globe and Mail
June 19, 2008
The jaws of the trap snapped shut in December of 2004, when Xiadong
Sheldon Meng arrived at the Orlando airport with a Dell Inspiron laptop
and a portable hard drive.
Mr. Meng, who held Canadian citizenship and had two degrees from McGill
University, had just arrived in the United States from China to attend
an event that only a computer geek could love: the Interservice Industry
Training, Simulation and Education Conference.
Unknown to Mr. Meng, he was also delivering himself into the hands of
the FBI, who had spent months on a high-tech investigation that led from
California to China. And now the FBI had the smoking gun: On Mr. Meng's
laptop and hard drive were thousands of files that officers said proved
he had stolen advanced military technology from his former U.S. employer
and taken them to China, the world's newest superpower.
Yesterday, a California judge sentenced Mr. Meng to two years in prison,
closing a case that has served as the first test of the United States's
new federal Economic Espionage Act.
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