The United States announced criminal charges against Chinese and Russian nationals on Tuesday, accusing them of stealing trade secrets and violating sanctions by attempting to export sensitive technology. This includes a former Apple software engineer who allegedly stole software related to the research and development of self-driving cars, and a Chinese man who attempted to provide Iran with materials for weapons of mass destruction.
Apple Software Engineer Charged with Stealing Trade Secrets
Weibao Wang, a Chinese software engineer who worked at Apple from 2016 to 2018, was charged with stealing trade secrets related to self-driving car technology and other sensitive information. Wang fled to China just hours after a search of his home in 2018.
Chinese Man Accused of Violating US Sanctions
Xiangjiang Qiao, a Chinese man also known as Joe Hansen, was charged with attempting to provide Iran with isostatic graphite, a high-tech material used in the nose tips of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Qiao has been charged with sanctions evasion, money laundering, and bank fraud.
Arrests Made in Cases Involving Russia
Two Russian nationals, Oleg Patsulya and Vasilii Besedin, were arrested in Arizona for attempting to illegally export civilian aircraft parts from the United States to Russia. Additionally, Nikolaos Bogonikolos, a Greek national, was arrested in France and charged with wire fraud conspiracy and smuggling for allegedly smuggling military and dual-use technology to Russia, including equipment used in nuclear weapons testing.
The Justice Department’s “Disruptive Technology Strike Force” was responsible for the indictments, and Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen announced the charges. The US officials emphasized their commitment to enforcing US laws to prevent the flow of sensitive technologies to foreign adversaries.