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San Jose jury hears conflicting stories in opening of espionage trial




San Jose jury hears conflicting stories in opening of espionage trial
San Jose jury hears conflicting stories in opening of espionage trial



http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_13614574 

By Howard Mintz
mercurynews.com
10/21/2009

Spies in the heart of Silicon Valley. Or two gifted engineers looking to 
jump start a new company that could do business in booming China with 
their own superfast computer chip.

Those were the two competing stories presented Wednesday to a federal 
jury in San Jose, where valley engineers Lan Lee and Yuefei Ge find 
themselves facing one of the nation's first trials on charges of 
economic espionage to aid a foreign government.

A federal grand jury has indicted Lee, 44, and Ge, 36, on charges of 
violating provisions of the 1996 espionage act, as well as stealing 
trade secrets from their former employers, Mountain View-based NetLogic 
Microsystems, and chip manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor. At the heart 
of the indictment is the allegation that Lee and Ge stole NetLogic chip 
technology six years ago to establish a rival company backed by the 
Chinese government.

Calling Lee and Ge "traitors" to NetLogic, Assistant U.S. Attorney 
Matthew Parrella told the jury that the case was about stealing 
cutting-edge chip designs to set up a company that was backed by a 
Chinese venture capital program and China's military.

"There is no doubt about it," the prosecutor said. "They planned to 
build, market and sell in China the chip that is a direct competitor."

[...]


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