A list of high-profile CCP spies & assets arrested;
updated: September 21, 2020
Dr. Charles Lieber;
The Man, the myth, the legend.
On the 28th of January, 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that the Chair of Harvard University’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department, Dr Charles Lieber, and two Chinese nationals, had been indicted in connection with aiding the People’s Republic of China.
Lieber was arrested at his at his Harvard University office.
[affidavit in support of the federal complaint].
Lieber had been at Harvard since 1991, and is described by his research group as a “pioneer in nanoscience and nanotechnology.”
Comrade Lieber has received more than $15,000,000 in grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Defense (DOD). These grants require the disclosure of significant foreign financial conflicts of interest, including financial support from foreign governments or foreign entities.
Interestingly enough, if you search for Dr. Charles Lieber on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website for grant recipients, his name does not come up. Mainstream media has not mentioned this fact, yet he has been paid $15 million dollars by the NIH as well as DOD for his affiliated research.
‘Unbeknownst’ to Harvard, From 2012 to 2017, Lieber became a “strategic scientist” at Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) in China, and during that time took part in the Thousand Talents Plan (TTP). Under Lieber’s TTP contract, he was paid $50,000 a month over 5 years by WUT, and living expenses up to $158,000. He was also awarded more than $1.5 million from the CCP to establish a research lab at the Wuhan University.
In both 2018 and 2019, Lieber lied when questioned about his involvement in the Thousand Talents Plan, and his affiliation with WUT. On or about April 24, 2018, during an interview with investigators, Lieber stated that he was never asked to participate in the Thousand Talents Program.
In November 2018 the NIH asked of Harvard re. Lieber’s ties to China, Harvard stated that Lieber is not a participant in China’s Thousand Talents Plan, and that “he [Lieber] wasn’t sure how China classified him.”
According to Harvard, Lieber caused Harvard to falsely tell the NIH that Lieber “had no formal association with WUT” after 2012, and that “WUT continued to falsely exaggerate” his involvement with WUT in subsequent years, and that Lieber “is not and has never been a participant in China’s Thousand Talents Plan.” OK Harvard.
On the 22nd of April, 2013, Lieber was featured on a Chinese website, accepting an award certification of “Special Scientific Advisory” to SINANO (Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics).
The website states;
“In the talk, Prof. Lieber shared the advancement of his latest research.”…”and give [sic] an excellent speech “nanoelectronics meets biology”. He showed the progress of the world’s leading technology in the cross realm between nanoelectronics and biology. Over three hundred nanotechnology experts, academics and students attended the speech.”Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics (SINANO)
This is a common tactic of the CCP; invite accomplished but unrecognized Western scientist or academic, shower them with praise, really build them up, and then slowly start to turn them. Video of footage of indiscretions or ‘honey-traps’ whilst in China is typical too. Lieber was teaching all he knew to the Chinese for a price.
And ideological satisfaction too, I’ll bet.
After initially signing the Chinese ”One Thousand Talents Agreement “, Dr. Lieber returned to WUT in November 2012. Lieber’s travel expenses to and from Wuhan were paid by WUT. Prior to this trip, arrangements were made to pay Lieber his salary and living expenses as specified in the Thousand Talents agreement.
For example, in an email dated on or about October 26, 2012, a WUT employee wrote to Lieber:
“Before your visit, I would like to talk about one detail in thePage 11 of the Lieber Affidavit
implementation of the contract of “one thousand talent” high level
foreign expert between you and our university. According to the
article concerning the payment and living conditions, I want to know
the way you prefer to be paid so that everything can be prepared
before your coming. I would like to provide two. options for you to
choose if you do not mind. Option one. I help you open a new bank
account in the Chinese Bank named [redacted]. The payment will
be put into your account and you can get the payment from the
branch of [redacted] in your country. Option Two. I can prepare
the payment in cash.”
To cover his tracks, Lieber then wrote this very telling email to WUT, fearful of what may come next. He emailed this 2 days after the DOD had interviewed him.
I am not a criminal defense lawyer, but recording in an email your intent to withhold information from a federal investigation while being investigated does not seem wise. The email reads;
“Can you also provide me with the link/info to CAS webpage where I am listed as directing (?) that lab at Wuhan? I lost a lot of sleep worrying about all these things last night and want to start taking steps to correct sooner than later. I will be careful what I discuss with Harvard University and none of this will be shared with government investigators at this time.”Charles Lieber
However, there is a mystery surrounding the nature of his work. It is said he was recruited for advanced research into nanowire-batteries. But investigation by Great Game India has shown that Lieber was infact working on virus transmitters that could penetrate cell membranes without affecting the intercellular functions and measure activities inside heart cells and muscle fibers, then transmitting the data.
In all his research papers and patents, there is no mention of “batteries” or “vehicles”. Image gallery from the Lieber Research Group.
Dr Charles Lieber was released from custody on the 30th of January, 2020, on a $1 million dollar bail.
He is currently on administrative leave from Harvard, with full pay.
11th of June, 2020; Lieber was indicted on charges of making false statements to federal authorities regarding his participation in China’s Thousand Talents Program. The charge of making false statements provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.
28th of July, 2020; The Justice Department filed its third indictment against Charles Lieber. This time prosecutors say he failed to report foreign bank accounts with the IRS. For each charge of filing to file a notification of a foreign bank account, he faces a sentence of up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release, prosecutors said.
CBS Boston; ‘Harvard Professor, BU Researcher Among 3 Charged With Illegal Ties To China’ [video]
Shi Zheng Li, otherwise known among her colleagues as “the bat Lady” is a bat virus specialist, and is currently suspected of being one of two people instrumental in the ‘gain of function’ enhancement of the CCP virus at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). The other being fellow researcher at WIV, Peng Zhou.
On the 22nd of February, 2006, Shi arrived in Australia on an exchange program as a visiting scientist for three months from February 22 to May 21, 2006. She worked at the CSIRO’s top-level Australian Animal Health Laboratory studying Australian bats.
While Shi is not directly accused of spying, she is currently being investigated by the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence agencies, and it is certain that any sensitive material or information she was exposed to while in Australia would certainly have been gathered for the benefit of China.
Shi currently works at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and is the head of bat virus research. Zhengli’s research papers to date.
In March, 2019, Dr. Xiangguo Qiu, immunologist and Medical Doctor, and her research team, all affiliated with the Thousand Talents Program (TTP), and all working at Canada’s BSL-4 bio-lab in Winnipeg, sent a package to China via Air Canada. It was an unauthorized shipment of dangerous virus strains, including the deadly Ebola and Nipah organisms. It was the interception of this package that arose suspicion in Dr. Qui, and questions still remain as to whether previous shipments to China of other viruses took place prior.
On the 24 of May 2019, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported Dr. Xiangguo Qiu to the RCMP. A 4-month investigation ensued.
The Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) acted as stenographers for official sources, whose clear mission was to keep a lid on the potentially explosive story, referring to the removal of Dr. Qiu, her husband and her research team as an “administrative matter” that will be “resolved expeditiously.”
The RCMP released a statement;
“Based on information received to date, the RCMP has assessed that there is no threat to public safety at this time,“Robert Cyrenne in an email to CBC News
The story would become even more relevant with the inception in December of 2019 of the CCP virus crisis in China.
After Dr Qiu’s computer was accessed one night by a security team, on the 5th of July, Dr. Xiangguo Qiu, her husband Keding Cheng, and an unknown number of her students from China were physically removed from Canada’s only level-4 biolab, in Winnipeg.
Over a period in 2017-18, Dr. Xiangguo Qiu made at least five trips to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, each for two-week periods. In each case an undisclosed Chinese entity paid her travel expenses.
After their removal from the lab, Qui, Cheng and her ‘students’ all disappeared, and are presumed to now be in China.
Questions remain as to why they were allowed to leave.
Short video of Dr. Xiangguo Qiu accepting an award. Notice how the rhetoric from ChiCom spies is always about ongoing cooperation and the sharing of tech.
In an April 2019 interview, Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) lieutenant, Yanqing Ye, had falsely identified herself as a “student” on her visa application and lied about her military service while she was employed as a scientific researcher at the Center of Polymer Studies at Boston University, according to her indictment.
She admitted to federal officers during the interview that she held the rank of lieutenant with the PLA. Yanqing Ye is accused of accessing US military websites and sending US documents and information to China.
A Colonel in the People’s Republic of China gave Lt. Ye numerous assignments while she was in the United States, such as compiling biographies of top U.S. professors, as well as assessing U.S. military websites.
Boston University said Lt. Ye left the school in April 2019 after it was discovered she was a ranking member of the PLA.
Lt. Yanqing Ye is wanted by the FBI, and is believed to be in China.
Xiaoqing Zheng , 58, is a Chinese American engineer (and TTP participant), who was hired by General Electric Co. in 2008.
He was arrested for conspiring with and Zhaoxi Zhang, 49, of Liaoning Province, China, for allegedly stealing tech secrets from the company.
The complaint says that in 2014, Zheng “downloaded more than 19,000 files from GE’s computer network onto an external storage device, believed by GE investigators to have been a personal thumb drive.” And used sophisticated means to take data from General Electric’s laboratories, according to court documents.
Prosecutors, in a statement, said that Zheng ;
“used an elaborate and sophisticated means to remove electronic files containing GE’s trade secrets involving its turbine technologies; Zheng is alleged to have used encrypted technology to hide data files belonging to GE into an innocuous looking digital picture of a sunset, and then to have emailed the digital picture, which contained the stolen GE data files, to Zheng’s (private) email account.”
After a four-year investigation, the FBI arrested Zheng August 2018, following a search of Zheng’s home in Niskayuna, New York [video].
FBI agents said they retrieved a ‘reward handbook’ and a passport showing five trips to China in the past two years. The search uncovered a bag carrying the family’s passports, immunization records and $20,000 in cash — a package investigators described as a “go-bag” meant to aid in a hasty escape.
The FBI also found $30,000 hidden in the home’s basement, and a handbook detailing “resources” Beijing would grant to individuals providing certain technologies.
Dept. of Justice press release, April, 2019.
Surprisingly few photos, videos, or articles exist of Russell Lowe online, which is remarkable, considering he was by the side of a senior U.S. Official for almost 20 years, and has been active in the SFC Bay area since the 1960’s.
Personally I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a lack of info online on any one person of equal prominence.
Revelations that the long-term staffer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was a Chinese spy are gravely concerning but unsurprising, considering both Feinstein’s and the staffer’s histories. In 1976 Lowe was a consultant to the far-left Association of Chinese Teachers. He continues to have deep and ongoing involvement with pro-China communist activists and organizations.
Russell Lowe began working for Dianne Feinstein in approximately 1993. Lowe was not a “driver,” as was widely reported, but served officially as “office director” as listed on Feinstein’s payroll in 2013, according to records maintained by the Sunlight Foundation. Importantly, Lowe also acted as Feinstein’s California liaison to the Asian-American community, and was reporting back to China’s MSS (Ministry of State Security). Lowe had even attended events at the Chinese Consulate on behalf of the senator.
In March 2013 as scrutiny grew and the FBI warned several government officials of Chinese spying, Feinstein was forced to fire Lowe, but charges were never filed against him.
One former official reasoned this was because the staffer was providing political intelligence and not classified information—making prosecution far more difficult. The suspected informant was ‘run’ by officials based at China’s San Francisco Consulate, said another former intelligence official. The spy’s handler ‘probably got an award back in China’ for his work, noted this former official, dryly.Politico
As of 2018 Lowe was working with the “Education for Social Justice Foundation”, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that says it’s focused on “educating the public on the Japanese military’s ‘comfort women’ system”. The Chinese government no doubt sees the foundation’s focus favorably, and it’s widely known the CCP use the WWII era abuses as a wedge issue.
Russell Lowe can be seen here pushing the issue. This is the only video that exists of him.
Senator Diane Feinstein is certainly not clean herself. Her ties to Beijing go back to the late 1970’s, specifically, her close friendship with the “Butcher of Beijing”, Jiang Zemin. It turned out to be a lucrative relationship and predictably, her and her husband Richard Blum’s investments in China having done exceedingly well over the years.
Feinstein became friends with Shanghai’s mayor, Jiang Zemin, and the two visited each other regularly; Jiang once spent Thanksgiving in San Francisco with Feinstein and Blum. In 1986, Feinstein and Jiang agreed to foster trade and business through corporate partnerships. Soon afterward, Shanghai Pacific Partners, in which Blum was an investor, signed a deal with a state-owned investment entity to create a seventeen-million-dollar apartment-and-retail complex, Golden Bridge Mansion, in a Shanghai suburb. As Feinstein told me, “In my day, China made friends first, and then they did business with their friends.”The New Yorker [Archived version]
Today’s San Francisco is a cesspool of Beijing-backed corruption, subversion, and espionage. Read the full story on Comrade Senator Diane Feinstein here.
“I sometimes say that in my last life maybe I was Chinese.”Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Zaosong Zheng, 30, Chinese national, who was working for Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, was arrested on the 10th of December, 2019, and charged by criminal complaint with attempting to smuggle 21 vials of biological research to China, hidden in a sock.
He was intercepted at Boston Logan International Airport and has been detained since Dec. 30, 2019. Benjamin Tolkoff remarked;
“Zeng’s theft and attempt to smuggle biological specimens out of the U.S. was not an isolated incident. Rather it appears to have been a coordinated crime, with likely involvement by the Chinese government.”Assistant U.S. Attorney, Benjamin Tolkoff
On Jan. 21, 2020, Zheng was indicted on one count of smuggling goods from the United States and one count of making false, fictitious or fraudulent statements.
On the 6th of March, 2020, Zheng was inexplicably released on house arrest. The government opposed his release, arguing that he may be working with the Chinese government, and raising questions about the source of $25,000 in additional bail money posted by his wife.
Tolkoff said the U.S. government had concerns that the additional money posted for Zheng’s bail that originated from China did not necessarily come from the defendant’s family.
Zheng had not been yet been charged with conspiring with the Chinese government, and a federal judge denied multiple requests from prosecutors that he remain in jail until an appeal could be heard.
Government lawyers argued Judge Hennessy should not consider release, writing in court documents that their investigation is ongoing and could result in more serious charges. They wrote that while Zheng’s lawyers argued his career would be stalled in China should he flee, “it is just as reasonable to conclude (he) will be lauded as a hero upon his return” if he was working to steal the samples for his country’s benefit.
FBI Special Agent Kara D. Spice said the FBI has been reviewing Zheng’s cellphone and laptop and a preliminary review shows that the defendant had communications with three parties (one in the U.S. and two currently in China) about the stolen vials, including one from a university that planned to store the material in China.
Li Xiaojiang and Li Shihua;
On the week of the 24th of May, 2019, Li Xiaojiang, 63, and his wife Li Shihua, both professors of human genetics at Emory University School of Medicine, were dismissed from their positions at Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia.
The investigation on Li was prompted by a letter that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sent to over 10,000 academic research universities 20th of August 2018. The letter urged institutions to work with NIH and other agencies including the FBI to crack down on foreign influence, particularly from China. Recipients of U.S. federal funds have to disclose if they are receiving funds from other countries and are not allowed to share their grant applications with foreign governments.
Since 2007, Li has held various positions at Chinese universities and was recruited into China’s Thousands Talents Program in 2010. The highly-selected program targets top Chinese talent overseas and brings them back to China to “enhance China’s high-tech industries and emerging disciplines.”
Over 8,000 scientists have been recruited to the program. Li’s participation in that program likely triggered the investigation.
On May 8, 2020, Dr. Li Xiaojiang pleaded guilty to criminal information charging him with filing a false tax return, and has been sentenced to 1 year of probation, and a $35,000 fine by a U.S. District Judge.
It is estimated he earned approx. $500,000 from the Thousand Talents Program.
On the 11th of May, 2020, The Justice Dept. issued a press release regarding Li Xiaojiang’s arrest.
‘Simon’ Saw-Teong Ang;
Simon Saw-Teong Ang, 63, Director of the High Density Electronics Center, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Arkansas, was arrested on Friday May 8, 2020, on charges related to wire fraud.
Ang received more than $5 million in federal funding for research projects but violated university policy in failing to reveal his ties to Beijing.
The alleged deception resulted in wire transfers being sent from NASA to the school based on his alleged fraudulent misrepresentations. If convicted, Ang faces a statutory maximum punishment of 20 years in prison.
Ang was uncovered by accident on June 20, 2019, when a hard drive of his was turned in to the school’s lost-and-found. A staff member trying to figure out who it belonged to opened up one of the files, labeled “Ang_Confidental.pdf,” which contained September 2018 emails between himself and a Chinese researcher, showing Ang was concealing his role in the Thousand Talents Program.
Ang said to his colleague in an email;
“You can search the Chinese website regarding what the U.S. will do to Thousand Talent Scholars,” … “Not many people here know I am one of them but if this leaks out, my job here will be in deep troubles.”Simon Saw-Teong Ang
On Aug. 6, 2019, the FBI obtained a Chinese news article showing that Ang also goes by Hong Sizhong and revealing he was listed as one of “30 Thousand Talents Program experts” in China.
Ang also held multiple positions in China without reporting them, according to court documents.
U.S. Attorney’s arrest press release.
On the 29th of July, Ang was indicted on on 42 counts of wire fraud and two counts of passport fraud. The 44-count indictment also accuses Ang of failing to disclose close ties to the Chinese government and Chinese companies when he obtained federal grants.
If convicted, Ang faces a statutory maximum punishment of 20 years in prison for each wire fraud count and 10 years in federal prison for each passport fraud count.
Hua Jun Zhao;
On the 22nd, February 2013, Hua Jun Zhao, a research assistant at Medical College of Wisconsin (MCOW), under Professor Marshall Anderson, stole three vials of C-25, a compound patented by Anderson and used in his cancer research. Security footage examined during an internal investigation revealed Zhao entering Anderson’s office and leaving shortly after.
Federal investigators questioned Zhao about the vials on Feb. 27, but he claimed he did not understand their questions. The school immediately placed him on administrative leave. Shortly after Zhao was fired March 15, investigators soon learned he had purchased a ticket to China for April 2.
During a search of his apartment, the compound research was discovered on Zhao’s computer, and he was arrested March 29.
The missing compound itself has never been recovered.
In addition to the 384 files found on Zhao’s personal computer relating to Anderson’s research was an application to the National Natural Science Foundation of China claiming he invented C-25, and requesting funding for additional research. This application was an exact translation of the grant application written by Professor Anderson several years earlier.
It was also determined that Zhao accessed his MCOW computer remotely on the day he was suspended and attempted to delete the files he stole relating to C-25. Zhao was convicted to time served in August 2013.
Additionally, Zhao’s LinkedIn profile indicated he held a position at Zhejiang University, which has ties to the Thousand Talent Program.
Zhao was sentenced on Tuesday, August 6th, 2013. He received a sentence of time served, plus two years of supervised release.
Liu Ruopeng, 38, is a Chinese entrepreneur, multi-billionaire associated with the Chinese conglomerate Kuang-Chi. He is known as the Chinese Elon Musk.
In 2006, Liu, a graduate student at Duke University, worked in the laboratory with a US researcher studying metamaterials.
Liu had full access to the researcher’s lab, which conducted fundamental research. While working for this researcher, Liu arranged meetings between the researcher’s lab and Cui Tie Jun, a Chinese program manager associated with Project 111, which focuses on basic science and advanced technology by recruiting the best international experts to China to study from. The idea behind this connection was to share ideas, however, the US researcher eventually realized most of the ideas were coming from his lab only.
In 2010, a case was opened by the FBI to investigate the alleged US intellectual property theft by Liu. The former assistant director of counterintelligence at the FBI, Frank Figliuzzi, believes that;
“certain government officials and operatives”…”had approached Liu while he was a student as Duke and recruited him”. Liu “was more than just a grad student taking something that didn’t belong to him, the Chinese government sent Liu to steal intellectual property”.- Figluizzi
Liu moved back to China after the researcher retracted his recommendation for Liu’s employment at Princeton with Dr. Stephen Chou, the head of the nanotechnology laboratory.
Liu has reportedly established a research institution in Shenzhen.
By convincing the US researcher to collaborate with Cui Tie Jun, Liu was able to freely share information and invite visitors to the lab. Although this was not restricted research, the metamaterials research could have both military and civilian applications.
Liu Ruopeng is ranked #1567 on the Forbes rich list ($1.3B as of 2017), and Liu’s largest source of wealth is reportedly Zhejiang Longsheng Auto Parts, a China auto parts maker.
On Oct. 9, 2018, the United States secured the extradition of Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) operative, Yanjun Xu, aka Qu Hui, aka Zhang Hui. Xu was arrested and charged with conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage and steal trade secrets from multiple U.S. aviation and aerospace companies.
Xu was extradited to the to the United States from Belgium to stand trial.
According to the indictment, since 2013, Xu had targeted top American airlines and industry experts for “highly sensitive” technical information and invited employees of American companies to China under the pretext of “exchanging ideas” or giving lectures at universities.
In early 2017, Xu’s associates contacted an ethnic Chinese aerospace engineer from General Electric (GE) via LinkedIn, also known as “A.” The engineer was deeply involved in the design and analysis of GE’s new commercial jet engine, a technology which is the prime target of the Communist Party’s agents.
Later, the engineer was asked to make an experience exchange report in Nanjing, China.
A few months later, the aerospace engineer told the FBI his speech at the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics encountered some initial technical problems. Staff at the university, which is controlled by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, told him that the projector wouldn’t work, so he allowed them to insert a USB drive into his personal laptop, which contained the confidential GE documentation.
On Jan. 23 and Feb. 3, 2018, Yanjun Xu asked “A” via email to collect GE’s technical documents on engine production and design, including “containment analysis” of fan blades.
In March 2018, Xu emailed the engineer and suggested that he download GE aviation records and “more data… Including any relevant design,” following which the two agreed to meet in Belgium. The U.S. Office of the Attorney General began preparing prosecution documents to indict Xu and provide them to Belgian authorities.
Xu arrived in Brussels on April 1, 2018, but instead of the GE engineer, he was greeted by Belgian police and FBI agents, and put in handcuffs.
On 17th January, 2019, Xu was was sentenced to five years in prison, for economic espionage and theft of a trade secret.
Ji Chaoqun was arrested in Chicago on Sept. 25, 2018, and charged with acting as an illegal agent on behalf of a senior MSS intelligence official, “Intelligence officer A” , or Yanjun Xu (above).
The prosecutor alleged that Ji had received covert instructions from Chinese intelligence agents, and that he had hidden his contacts with these agents when undergoing a U.S. military background check.
In Ji’s electronic accounts, federal authorities were drawn to an email addressed to “intelligence officer A” about “midterm exam questions.”
However, the email attachments Ji sent to Xu had nothing to do with midterm exams, but instead contained background information on eight American scientists and engineers also residing in the United States.
According to a federal criminal complaint, Ji collected information on these eight individuals at the direction of a high-ranking Chinese intelligence official, so that they could be recruited as spies. These eight people were originally from Taiwan or mainland China. All of them were employed in or had worked in the field of science and technology, and seven had worked for U.S. defense contractors.
Xudong Yao, 58, also known as William Yao, worked for a locomotive manufacturer in Illinois. Yao is considered a fugitive and is believed to be back in China, US prosecutors say.
A grand jury charged Xudong Yao with nine counts of theft of electronic files from a locomotive manufacturer based in Illinois, according to the indictment, which was filed in December 2017 but unsealed only July 112th, 2019.
When Yao returned from China to Chicago on Nov. 18, 2015;
“he had in his possession the stolen trade secret information, including nine complete copies of the suburban Chicago company’s control system source code and the systems specifications that explained how the code worked”Federal Court for the Northern District of Illinois
The indictment said that Yao, within weeks of being hired in August 2014 and through the first half of 2015, downloaded more than 3,000 electronic files containing his former employer’s trade secrets, including “control system software source code designed to operate [the company’s] locomotives”.
After Yao’s employment was terminated in February 2015, he returned to China in July to begin working for a company based there that sells “automotive telematics service systems”, according to the court document.
Yao’s US employer was not identified, nor did court documents explain why he returned to Chicago in November 2015, after being fired in the U.S. in February, and starting his new job in China in July 2015.
Yao is a fugitive on the FBI’s most-wanted list.
On Dec 20th, 2018, Hongjin Tan, 35, a Chinese national and U.S. legal permanent resident, was arrested and charged with theft of trade secrets. Tan is alleged to have stolen the trade secrets from his employer, a U.S. petroleum company, related to a product worth more than $1 billion, to use for the benefit of a Chinese company where he was also employed, but failed to disclose.
Tan had lived in the United States since 2012 and was a legal permanent resident. He earned his Ph.D. at an American university and had worked for a number of firms in California before making his way to the energy company in Oklahoma.
When Tan revealed to his colleague that he actually did have a job waiting for him in China with Xiamen Tungsten, Tan’s dinner companion reported the conversation to his supervisor—who grew alarmed after researching the company. Xiamen Tungsten is a Chinese firm that smelts, processes, and distributes metal products and also supplies battery materials.
With this new information, the company immediately dismissed Tan from his responsibilities, and the company also began to look back at the documents and systems he had accessed while employed there.
FBI agents said he began accessing these sensitive files around the time he applied to China’s Thousand Talents Program. U.S. intelligence agencies have found that, through this program, China provides financial incentives and other privileges to participants who are willing to send back the research and technology knowledge they can access while working in the United States.
Tan also called up the documents around the times he made trips to China, and he accessed them for a final time on the day before he resigned.
“When he brought back the thumb drive, the firm looked at the slack space on the drive and found several files had been erased,” said FBI Special Agent Jeremy Sykes. “The deleted files were the files the company was most concerned about.”
“If you got your hands on this information, you would be decades ahead of where you would have started out on this technology.”Rebecca Day, special agent, FBI Oklahoma City
Tan was was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison in federal court on the 27th Feb. 2020, and also lost his U.S. residency status. Tan will be deported to China when he is released.
Xin Wang is a major in China’s People’s Liberation Army.
He was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport, telling federal authorities that he has been stealing secrets from the medical researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and sending them to a military lab in China, officials announced 11 June.
In a joint statement, U.S. Attorney David Anderson and FBI Special Agent in Charge, San Francisco, John Bennett announced that Xin Wang was taken into federal custody on June 7th as he was attempting to board a flight to Tianjin, China.
Federal prosecutors said Wang had entered the United States on a fake passport on March 26, 2019 posing as medical researcher interested in doing work at UCSF. He had joined the lab and begun accessing medical research.
Investigators have determined he is, in fact, a major in the People’s Republic of China’s People’s Liberation Army. He said on his multiple entry visa application that he had left military medical service in 2016 and was involved in private research.
Wang is charged with visa fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum statutory penalty of ten years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
[Unable to find a picture of Wang.]
On May 16, 2015, Tianjin University Professor Hao Zhang was arrested upon entry into the United States from the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The 32-count indictment, which had previously been sealed, charges a total of six individuals with economic espionage and theft of trade secrets for their roles in a long-running effort to obtain U.S. trade secrets for the benefit of universities and companies controlled by the PRC government.
Zhang Hao, 41, was found guilty by a federal judge in San Jose, California, after a four-day trial on June 26, 2020 of economic espionage and theft of trade secrets, in the latest round in the Trump administration’s clampdown on Chinese state-sanctioned theft of U.S. intellectual property.
Prosecutors said that in October of 2006, Zhang and his co-conspirators started a business in China to compete with Avago and Skyworks. They stole formulas, source code, technical specifications, design kits, and other documents marked as classified or proprietary from their American employers, the justice department said.
Zhang also applied for patents in his own name in the United States and China using the stolen technology. Zhang faces up to 15 years in prison for the charge of economic espionage, and 10 years for theft of trade secrets. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 31. The five other co-conspirators are in China, and have not faced trial in the United States.
See; ‘Australia’s China Problem‘ article.
Song Guo Zheng
In a criminal complaint unsealed on Thursday, the Justice Department accuses Song Guo Zheng, the Ronald L. Whisler MD Chair in Rheumatology and Immunology at Ohio State’s medical school, of fraudulently obtaining federal grant funds from the National Institutes of Health and making false statements to investigators.
Zheng, 57, was arrested Friday, May 22, 2020, after he arrived in Anchorage, Alaska, aboard a charter flight and as he prepared to board another charter flight to China. When he was arrested, he was carrying three large bags, one small suitcase and a briefcase containing two laptops, three cellular telephones, several USB drives, several silver bars, expired Chinese passports for his family, deeds for property in China and other items.
Zheng has been ordered held without bond to face a charge of grant fraud for not disclosing that he was engaged in a sophisticated scheme to use approximately $4.1 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop China’s expertise in the areas of rheumatology and immunology. He is also charged with making false statements about maintaining employment in China at the same time he was employed at universities in the United States, including The Ohio State University.
“This case highlights another example of a Chinese Talent Plan member allegedly using U.S. taxpayer funds for the benefit of the Chinese government,” said Alan E. Kohler, Jr, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division.
Yiheng ‘Percival’ Zhang
In November of 2017, Zhang was indicted for several felony charges due to his mismanagement and misuse of federal funding for his Blacksburg biotech business, Cell-Free Bioinnovations Inc. (CFB).
Yiheng Percival Zhang, a former Virginia Tech biological systems engineering professor, was found guilty of conspiring to commit federal grant fraud, making false statements and obstruction on Feb. 26, 2019. Zhang was sentenced in U.S. District Court to time served, which included incarceration for approximately three months, and home incarceration for approximately two years.
Zhang began working as a paid researcher for the Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences by, at least, 2014. In 2015, Zhang caused fraudulent grant proposals to be submitted to the NSF under the Small Business Innovation Research Program (“SBIR”). Evidence presented at trial indicated grant funds obtained would be used for research Zhang knew had already been done in China. Zhang intended to use the grant funds for other CFB projects rather than for the projects for which the funds were requested. To obstruct the investigation, Zhang submitted falsified time sheets to government investigators.
Zhang was another member of the Thousand Talents Plan.
On June 23rd 2020, special agents with the FBI arrested Jose Huizar, an elected member of the Los Angeles City Council, on a federal racketeering charge that alleges he led a criminal enterprise that used his powerful position at City Hall to solicit and accept lucrative bribes and other financial benefits to enrich himself and his close associates in exchange for Huizar taking official actions favorable to the developers and others who financed and facilitated the bribes. The story is one of the worst corruption scandals in a century, but I’ll only cover the extensive Chinese involvement.
Huizar has represented Council District 14 (CD-14), which includes downtown Los Angeles and its surrounding communities, since 2005.
“The federal investigation has revealed that Huizar operated a pay-to-play scheme in the City, utilizing and commodifying the powerful Council seat of CD-14, whereby he solicited and accepted financial benefits from international (primarily Chinese) and domestic developers with projects in the City in exchange for favorable official actions,” according to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint.
The CD-14 Enterprise was created in early 2013 by Huizar and Individual 1 “at a time when each of them faced significant threats to their political and professional careers,” according to the affidavit. Individual 1, who maintained close relationships with Chinese developers, introduced Huizar to “Chairman E,” a Chinese billionaire who runs a multinational development firm and who owns a hotel in Huizar’s district.
Chairman E provided $600,000 in collateral to fund a settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Huizar by a former CD-14 staffer, allegations that threatened his 2015 re-election campaign.
Ultimately, Chairman E provided over $800,000 in benefits to Huizar so that Huizar would assist Chairman E’s ambitious plans to redevelop his property in CD-14 and build the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, according to the affidavit.
In a second scheme, “Developer C” agreed to pay a $500,000 cash bribe to secure Huizar’s help in resolving a labor organization’s appeal of a major real estate development which, when resolved, would save the developer millions of dollars.
A third major bribery scheme outlined in the affidavit involves “Company D,” another Chinese real estate firm that wanted to develop a large mixed-used project in CD-14.
The affidavit alleges that Company D also financed part of a Huizar family trip to China and agreed to contribute $100,000 to a political action committee that would benefit the campaign of Huizar’s close relative, who Huizar intended to replace him on the City Council after he was termed out in 2020.
Huizar is the fifth person to be charged in the ongoing corruption investigation being conducted by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office. The other four defendants have agreed to plead guilty.
Li Xiaoyu and Dong Jiazhi
On July 7, 2020, a grand jury in the United States District Court indicted two Chinese hackers, Li Xiaoyu and Dong Jiazhi, in Washington.
The Department of Justice released a statement saying that the two hackers were stealing information, including intellectual property and research on the new CCP virus.
It states the hackers are being charged for “hacking into the computer systems of hundreds of victim companies, governments, non-governmental organizations, and individuals, dissidents, clergy, and democratic and human rights activists in the united states, and abroad, including Hong Kong and China“.
The individuals worked for the Guang Dong State Security Department (GSSD) of the Ministry of State Security, the MSS, which is China’s equivalent of the FBI combined with the CIA.
The FBI also state they were also running operations for personal profit as well. [FBI wanted poster]
Tang Juan, who was working at the University of California, Davis, stated on her J-1 visa application that she “had never served in the military, but open source investigation revealed photographs of her in the uniform of the Civilian Cadre of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army), and that she had been employed as a researcher at the Air Force Military Medical University, which is another name for FMMU (Fourth Military Medical University),” according to the court filing. The filing details several cases of visa fraud by Chinese nationals who have concealed or denies ffiliations to the CCP.
The FBI interviewed her on June 20, and she “denied serving in the Chinese military, claimed she did not know the meaning of the insignia on her uniform, and that wearing a military uniform was required for attendance at FMMU because it was a military school.“
A subsequent search of her apartment on June 25th found further evidence of her PLA affiliation, the document said. The United States government believes that the Tang Juan affair is “not an isolated” incident. The PLA is conducting a program “to send military scientists to the United States on false pretenses with false covers or false statements about their true employment.”
On the 22 of July, after being interviewed, Tang took refuge in China’s San Francisco consulate to evade arrest by the FBI. It’s believed her ‘handler’ is located there. She was arrested by the FBI on the 24th.
Recently, Tang’s daughter was sent back to China at the request of Chinese officials. It is also believed that is a move intended to prevent Tang from talking to U.S. officials.
In addition to Tang’s arrest, the researcher, Xin Wang, has been charged with visa fraud. Chen Song, a neurology researcher at Stanford, and Kaikai Zhao, who studied machine learning and artificial intelligence as a graduate student at Indiana University, face the same charge; both are accused of having undisclosed ties to the Chinese military.
Jun Wei Yao [aka Dickson Yao]
Jun Wei Yeo, also known as Dickson Yeo (yes he chose the name Dickson), is a Singaporean national, who had set up a fake consultancy company to solicit “valuable non-public information” from the United States’ government and military workers, entered a plea of guilty on the 24th of July to one count of acting within the United States as an illegal agent of a foreign power.
“Yeo was central to one such scheme, using career networking sites and a false consulting firm to lure Americans who might be of interest to the Chinese government. This is yet another example of the Chinese government’s exploitation of the openness of American society.”
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.
By using a premium account on the business networking website LinkedIn, used by more than 700 million people. Yeo was able to access companies entire network or structure of employees. They would then do further research on social media of specific targets, looking for any weaknesses, and then approach them and exploit that weakness.
For example; One of the individuals he contacted worked on the US Air Force’s F-35 fighter jet programme and admitted he had money problems. Another was a US army officer assigned to the Pentagon, who was paid at least $2,000 (£1,500) to write a report on how the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan would impact China.
Some of the targets that Yeo found by trawling through LinkedIn were commissioned to write reports for his “consultancy”, which was a clone of an already prominent firm. The reports were then sent to his Chinese contacts.
In 2018, Yeo also posted fake online job ads for his consulting company. He told investigators he received more than 400 CVs with 90% of them coming from “US military and government personnel with security clearances”. Some were passed to his Chinese handlers.
The maximum penalty for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 951 is ten years.
[Dept. of Justice press release]
Update; Dickson Yeo was jailed for 14 months by a US court on Friday, Oct 9, 2020.
Alexander Yuk Chung Ma
Veteran CIA officer and former FBI linguist; 67-year-old Alexander Yuk Ching Ma, of Honolulu, was arrested on August 14, and charged with spying for China.
The Justice Department announced Monday that a former CIA officer was arrested and charged with espionage. They allege he had become a “compromised asset” of the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) as early as 2001.
According to the DOJ, Alexander, beginning in 2001, conspired with an 85-year-old relative who was a naturalized citizen from Shanghai, who was also a former CIA officer, to communicate top secret material to intel agents from China.
For nearly two decades on and off Alexander Yuk Ching Ma disclosed a substantial amount of highly classified national defense information of the United States to the MSS officers.
During these meetings Ma and his co-conspirator disclosed a substantial amount of highly classified national defense information of the United States to the MSS officers,” the complaint says. Among the information that Mr. Ma and his co-conspirator had access to were the identities of recruited CIA agents as well as secrets that reveal CIA operating methods.
Zhengdong Cheng, 53, a NASA researcher employed by Texas A&M University was taken into custody Sunday, Aug. 23, and charged with conspiracy, making false statements and wire fraud, all related to his ties with Chinese organizations.
Cheng allegedly led a team conducting research for NASA. According to the criminal complaint, for several years he willfully took steps to obscure his affiliations and collaboration with a Chinese University and at least one Chinese-owned company. The terms of Cheng’s grant prohibited participation, collaboration or coordination with China, any Chinese-owned company or any Chinese University, according to the charges.
“China is building an economy and academic institutions with bricks stolen from others all around the world,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Ryan K. Patrick said in a statement. “While 1.4 million foreign researchers and academics are here in the U.S. for the right reasons, the Chinese Talents Program exploits our open and free universities. These conflicts must be disclosed, and we will hold those accountable when such conflict violates the law.“
APT 41 – State Sponsored Hackers
The US Department of Justice revealed the names of seven international hackers currently on the FBI’s radar in a press release published on Wednesday. The FBI tweeted about this development, that read:
“The #FBI and our partners today announced charges against five Chinese nationals for their alleged activities, including unauthorized access to protected computers, money laundering, and fraud.”
Part of the list is five Chinese hackers Zhang Haoran, Tan Dailin, Jiang Lizhi, Qian Chuan, Fu Qiang, and two Malaysian businessmen. Horan and Dailin were charged earlier in August 2019, while the rest of the cyber-criminals were charged in separate indictments in August 2020.
The Malaysian hackers were arrested on Sunday, 14 Sep 2020, from Sitiawan, Malaysia, and their extradition process is currently underway.
The rest of the five accused are still at large, most probably living in China. The individuals are charged for running a global hacking campaign and targeting over 100 different companies worldwide.
These individuals are part of a larger group called Advanced Persistent Threat (aka APT41, Wicked Panda, Barium, Wicked Spider, and Winnti).
Baimadajie Angwang, a New York City police officer, was arrested Monday Sept. 21st by federal authorities, who say Angwang has been secretly working as an agent of the Chinese government for the past six years.
Angwang, 33, was a community affairs liaison at the 111th Precinct in Queens, and was reporting on all Tibetans in the area. His placement within the NYPD was a big win for the UFWD.
He is a former member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, and now serves as a civil affairs specialist in the Army Reserve, according to prosecutors. Angwan served one tour overseas, and holds a secret-level security clearance.
Angwang has “maintained a relationship with at least two PRC officials stationed at the [Chinese] Consulate” in New York City, says a complaint unsealed Monday in Brooklyn federal court. One is reportedly assigned to the “China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture,” a division of the country’s United Front Work Department. Angwang referred to this man as “boss” and “big brother,” according to the complaint, and allegedly offered to provide the consulate with inside information about the NYPD. [Affidavit]