California man sentenced to 15 years for espionage
2014-07-11, 01:20 PM,
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[Image: 8ccc8f9de6af761a590f6a706700c5bd.jpg]

Quote:OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced a California chemical engineer to 15 years in prison and fined him $28.3 million for a rare economic-espionage conviction for selling China a secret recipe to a widely used white pigment.

U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White said Thursday in Oakland that Liew, a naturalized U.S. citizen, had "turned against his adopted country over greed."

A jury previously convicted the 56-year-old Liew of receiving $28 million from companies controlled by the Chinese government in exchange for DuPont Co.'s pigment technology for making cars, paper and a long list of everyday items whiter.

Along with the $28.3 million Liew was ordered to forfeit and pay to DuPont, the engineering company launched by him and his wife was fined $18.9 million.

White expressed doubt that Liew would pay back much of his debt.

White noted that U.S. authorities had managed to trace $22 million of the $28 million received by Liew to various Singapore and Chinese companies controlled by Liew's in-laws before losing the trail.

"We'll never get it," White said. "It has been spirited out of the country."

Liew and his wife, Christina Liew, launched a small California company in the 1990s aimed at exploiting China's desire to build a DuPont-like factory to manufacture the white pigment known as titanium dioxide.

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