SPY CASES - UNITED STATES

Chi Mak and Family

Materials presented chronologically.

U.S. Department of Justice. "Press Release: Three Charged with Acting as Foreign Agents for the People's Republic of China" 15 Nov. 2005. [http://losangeles.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/pressrel05/china111505.htm -- not found 7/20/08]

On 15 November 2005, a federal grand jury in Los Angeles indicted Chi Mak; his wife, Rebecca Laiwah Chiu; and his brother, Tai Wang Mak, "on charges of acting as agents of a foreign government without prior notification" to the U.S. Attorney General. "According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Chi Mak was an engineer for ... Power Paragon. Allegedly, Chi Mak transferred data relating to a sensitive government project to his home, where his wife assisted him in copying the information onto CDs. Chi Mak delivered the CDs to his brother, who encrypted the information and ... allegedly planned to travel to the PRC to deliver the information."

U.S. Department of Justice. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Los Angeles Division. "Press Release: Charges Brought Against Mother and Son for Acting as Agents of a Foreign Government." 7 Jun. 2006. [http://losangeles.fbi.gov/pressrel/2006/la060706.htm -- not found 3/8/09]

On 7 June 2006, Fuk Heung Li and her son, Billy Yui Mak, "were indicted ... by a grand jury on charges of lying to the government and acting as agents" of the PRC. The two are respectively the wife and son of Tai Mak, charged in November 2005 "with failing to register as an agent of a foreign government."

U.S. Department of Justice. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Los Angeles Division. "Press Release: Five Family Members Face New Charges of Conspiring to Export U.S. Defense Articles to China and Lying to Federal Investigators." 25 Oct. 2006. [http://losangeles.fbi.gov/pressrel/2006/la102506.htm -- not found 3/8/09]

On 25 October 2006, a federal grand jury added a superseding indictment against five family members previously charged with acting as agents of the PRC. The indictment "adds counts of conspiracy to export [U.S.] defense articles to China, attempted and actual export of [U.S.] defense articles to China, possession of property in aid of a foreign government and making false statements" to federal investigators. "Court documents ... allege that unidentified co-conspirators from the PRC provided Chi Mak with tasking lists that requested specific defense information, including sensitive areas of U.S. Naval research concerning nuclear-powered submarines."

Marquez, Jeremiah. "Engineer on Trial Over Military Secrets." Associated Press, 28 Mar. 2007. [http://www.washingonpost.com]

Chi Mak, a Chinese-American engineer at defense contractor Power Paragon, went on trial on 28 March 2007 "on charges that he stole information on U.S. military technology for two decades to send to China."

CNN. "Engineer Guilty of Trying to Leak U.S. Military Secrets." Associated Press, 10 May 2007. [http://www.cnn.com]

On 10 May 2007, jurors in Santa Ana, California, convicted Chi Mak "of conspiring to export U.S. defense technology to China, including data on an electronic propulsion system that could make submarines virtually undetectable." He was also "found guilty of being an unregistered foreign agent, attempting to violate export control laws and making false statements to the FBI.... Mak faces up to 35 years in prison when he is sentenced September 10."

Associated Press. "Engineer's Kin Admits to Aiding in Espionage." 4 Jun. 2007. [http://www.ap.org]

"Authorities say three relatives" of Chinese-born engineer Chi Mak, "convicted of attempting to export U.S. defense technology to China[,] have pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy. Chi Mak's brother Tai Mak, Tai Mak's wife, Fuk Li, and the couple's son, Yui 'Billy' Mak were set to stand trial in Santa Ana [on 5 June 2007]. Chi Mak's wife, Rebecca Laiwah Chiu, is still scheduled to face similar charges."

Flaccus, Gillian. "Engineer Gets 24 1/2 Years in Prison." Associated Press, 24 Mar. 2008. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Chinese-born engineer Chi Mak "was sentenced [on 24 March 2008] to 24 1/2 years in federal prison" for conspiring to export U.S. defense technology to China.

"Mak's wife, Rebecca Laiwah Chiu, pleaded guilty last year ... to one count of acting as a foreign agent without registering with the U.S. government. She is serving three years in federal prison and will be deported upon release. His brother, Tai Mak, pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to violate export control laws in exchange for a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Tai Mak's wife, Fuk Li, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the violation of export control laws and received three years of probation. Yui 'Billy' Mak, the son of Tai Mak and Fuk Li, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the violation of export control laws and was sentenced to time already served. The three will also be deported."

Associated Press. "10-year Term for Trying to Bring Military Secrets to China." 21 Apr. 2008. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Tai Mak, the younger brother of Chi Mak, "was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison [on 21 April 2008] in his family's conspiracy to export military technology to China."

Lefebvre, Stéphane. "The PRC's Compromise of U.S. Government Information and Technologies." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 22, no. 4 (Winter 2009): 652-666.

The author looks at three cases: The Mak family; Bergersen, and Roth/Sherman. He also explores the difficulties of trying to catch Chinese spies.

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