For Immediate Release: May 1, 2006
Contact - BIS Public Affairs 202-482-2721
U.S. Department of Justice
Four Owners/Operators of New Jersey Company Sentenced for Illegally Selling National-Security Sensitive Items to Chinese Interests
NEWARK – Three company owner/operators of a Mount Laurel business were sentenced to federal prison terms and one to a period of home confinement today on charges that they used their business to illegally transfer sensitive national-security controlled items to state-sponsored research institutes within the People’s Republic of China, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie announced.
U.S. District Judge Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr., sentenced Manten Electronics, Inc., president Xu Weibo, a/k/a “Kevin Xu,” 39, to 44 months in federal prison and ordered him to serve two years supervised release upon the completion of his prison sentence. Judge Greenaway sentenced company purchasing agent Xiu Ling Chen, a/k/a “Linda Chen,” 35, (wife of Kevin Xu) to18 months in prison and two years supervised release. Manten vice president Hao Li Chen, a/k/a “Ali Chan,” 30, (brother of Linda Chen) was sentenced to 30 months in prison, a two year term of supervised release. Company controller Kwan Chun Chan, a/k/a “Jenny Chan,” 30, (wife of Ali Chan) was sentenced to 6 months of home confinement as part of a two-year probationary term.
The defendants also agreed as part of their plea agreements to forfeit $391,337, which represents their revenue from the illegal exports.
The government submitted letters to the Judge Greenaway for defendants Xu Weibo and Kwan Chun Chan, which supported downward departures from sentencing guidelines based on their cooperation in other investigations and prosecutions. When sentencing Xiu Ling Chen, Judge Greenaway departed downward from the sentencing guides for mental illness reasons, which the government did not oppose.
The defendants, all residents of Mount Laurel, entered their pleas before Judge Greenaway on Sept. 13, 2005, in federal court in Newark. All of the defendants are naturalized U.S. citizens.
Xu Weibo pleaded guilty to a three-count Information charging one count of conspiracy to violate the Export Administration Act and the Arms Export Control Act, and one count each of violating the Export Administration Act and the Arms Export Control Act.
Xiu Ling Chen, Hao Li Chen, and Kwan Chun Chan each pleaded guilty to one-count Informations charging conspiracy to violate United States export laws, namely the Export Administration Act and the Arms Export Control Act.
The four defendants were arrested on July 1, 2004, on a criminal Complaint that resulted from an investigation that began in January 2003 by a multi-agency task force consisting of agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The defendants pleaded guilty to illegally exporting items that are used in a wide variety of defense weapons systems, including radar, smart weapons, electronic warfare and communications. According to the Informations to which the defendants pleaded guilty, the illegal exports were destined for entities controlled by the Chinese government. Among those entities was a Chinese research institute that the United States government has identified as posing an unacceptable risk in the development of weapons of mass destruction or missiles used to deliver weapons of mass destruction.
At their plea hearings, the defendants admitted that they used various techniques to conceal their export activities, such as providing false written and verbal statements that purported that the recipient of the restricted items was a United States corporation rather than a government entity of the People’s Republic of China, and falsifying shipping documents to conceal the true contents of their shipments to China.
In determining the actual sentences, Judge Greenaway consulted the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges that take into account the severity and characteristics of the offense, the defendant's criminal history, if any, and other factors. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
Parole has been abolished in the federal system. Defendants who are given custodial terms must serve nearly all that time.
Christie credited Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Leslie Wiser, Jr., in Newark; the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Sidney M. Simon, in New York; and the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge John P. Kelleghan, in Philadelphia, with investigation leading to the prosecution of the defendants.
The Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Judith H. Germano, of the Criminal Division in Newark, and R. Stephen Stigall, of the Criminal Division in Camden.