By Thomas Claburn
April 14, 2009
A Chinese citizen on a work visa in the United States was arrested by
the FBI last week for allegedly revealing proprietary software code
owned by his unidentified U.S. employer to a Chinese government agency.
Yan Zhu, 31, of Lodi, N.J. -- also known as "Westerly Zhu" -- was
arrested on charges of theft of trade secrets, conspiracy, wire fraud,
and theft of honest services fraud.
"Crimes of this nature do not get much public attention," FBI Special
Agent in Charge Weysan Dun said in a statement. "No one is shot, there
is no crime scene, no prominent public figures are involved. However,
this is an act of economic violence -- a paper crime that robs the
victim company of the resources they expended to develop a product."
Dun said that white-collar crimes of this sort are clearly dangerous to
America's economic infrastructure. "If American dollars are spent on
research and development of a product, and then that product or research
is taken without any compensation to American companies, the value of
American companies and American products is significantly reduced in the
global marketplace," he said.
David Schafer, the assistant federal public defender representing Zhu,
declined to comment or to identify Zhu's former U.S. employer.
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