JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – U.S. District Judge Harvey Schlesinger today sentenced Ge Songtao (51, Nanjing, People’s Republic of China) to three years and six months in federal prison for conspiring to submit false export information through the government’s automated export system and fraudulently export sea raid craft and engines to China, and attempt to fraudulently export such equipment, in violation of US law. As part of his plea deal, he accepted administrative forfeiture of $ 114,834.27, the amount had to be wire-wired to a US manufacturer to purchase the raid craft and engines.
During the sentencing hearing, Judge Schlesinger found that Ge Songtao intended to purchase the engines in order to reverse engineer them and provide his own version to the Chinese military. In addition, the judge found that after being indicted in this case, Ge Songtao attempted to obstruct the proceedings in several ways, including soliciting an associate in China to help him fabricate false documents to be used in court. court.
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Ge Songtao pleaded guilty on November 2, 2020.
According to court documents, Ge Songtao was the chairman of Shanghai Breeze Technology Co. Ltd., a company based in Shanghai, China. As of 2018, Ge Songtao was interested in identifying a source of supply for U.S.-made rubber combat gear with engines that could run on gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel. These multi-fuel ships and engines are used by the US military and can be operated after being launched from a submerged submarine or dropped into the ocean by an aircraft. No comparable engine is made in China.
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One of the employees of Ge Songtao based in the United States, the co-accused Yang Yang, attempted to order seven of the raid boats equipped with these engines from an American manufacturer. When the American automaker suggested that Yang Yang buy cheaper gasoline engines, she insisted that she wanted to buy the military-style multi-fuel engines. To get the manufacturer to sell this equipment, Yang falsely stated that his client was an entity called United Vision Limited in Hong Kong, rather than Shanghai Breeze Technology Co. in Shanghai. One of Yang’s Chinese colleagues had told him that American manufacturers would be more likely to sell to an entity in Hong Kong rather than one in mainland China. By misrepresenting which company was purchasing the equipment and where it was located, Yang caused false information to enter the Commerce Ministry’s automated export system in violation of federal law.
To facilitate the purchase of the raid craft and engines, Ge Songtao arranged bank transfers to a separate company in Hong Kong, Belt Consulting Company Limited, which in turn wired $ 114,834.27 to the US manufacturer. He also coordinated plans to send an employee to Hong Kong to receive the raid gear and engines and tranship them to mainland China. The plot failed, and authorities arrested Ge Songtao and his co-defendants before the raid craft and engines were shipped overseas.
On September 15, 2020, Yang Yang pleaded guilty to the same two counts that Ge Songtao pleaded guilty to, and on December 9, 2020, was sentenced to jail time or the equivalent of approximately 14 months. ‘imprisonment. On August 13, 2020, co-accused Zheng Yan pleaded guilty to conspiring to submit false export information and fraudulently export the raid craft and engines, in violation of US law, and on March 31, 2021 , was sentenced to prison. sentence or the equivalent of approximately 6 months ‘imprisonment and 11 months’ house arrest. The trial of the remaining co-accused, Fan Yang, is scheduled to begin on August 2, 2021.
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“The illegal export of sensitive technology poses a clear and significant threat to our national security,” said Brian Dugan, Special Agent in charge of the FBI Norfolk Division. “This case proves that the FBI and our law enforcement partners are fully dedicated to preventing the theft of vital technology, no matter how difficult the job. We will continue to stand up for the innovators who create products that protect the lives of Americans and to bring to justice anyone who tries to circumvent the laws that protect these technologies. “