Chinese and Iranian Nationals Accused of Stealing Sophisticated US Tech

( – The United States works hard to safeguard its sensitive military technology from the hands of would-be bad actors. However, there is always someone who wants to get their hands on it and goes through devious methods to do so. The DOJ recently arrested one person and charged two others in their endeavors to steal trade secrets and circumvent export laws, respectively.

Both the arrests and indictments came on February 7. In the first instance, the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York revealed in a press release that Mohammad Resa Bazzazi and Abolfazl Bazzazi, Iranian nationals, were indicted in a Brooklyn federal court. They are accused of “conspiring to illegally export US goods and technology to end users in Iran,” which includes the country’s government, violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. The United States has designated Iran as a “sponsor of terrorism.”

The father-and-son duo reportedly tried to purchase “commercial and military aircraft items” to ship back to Iran without obtaining the necessary licenses or authorization from the US Treasury Department. They face up to 20 years in prison if they are convicted of the charges, and both remain at large as of the time of this writing.

In the other case, the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California announced the arrest of a former engineer from Southern California, 57-year-old Chenguang Gong. He has been charged with theft of trade secrets. Court documents allege Gong “transferred more than 3,600 files” from the research and development company where he was employed to his own personal devices. The files purportedly contained highly sensitive information, including blueprints for making sensors that can “detect nuclear missile launches and track ballistic and hypersonic missiles,” as well as detect approaching heat-seeking missiles.

Gong was arrested on the morning of February 6 and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison if found guilty.

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