Government Watch / Keeping America Safe / National Security / Politics

Chinese Couple Pleads Guilty to Stealing mRNA Vaccine Info, Smuggling Biological Materials: DOJ

mRNA Vaccine

A pair of scientists pleaded guilty to illegally importing potentially toxic lab chemicals and forwarding confidential mRNA vaccine research to China, according to a statement released by the Justice Department (DOJ).

Wu Chenyan and Chen Lianchun, a husband and wife who worked as research scientists for a major American pharmaceutical company, pleaded guilty on May 19 to charges related to their efforts to illicitly gather confidential mRNA research from that company and use it to advance the husband’s own competing laboratory research in China.

Wu worked for multiple pharmaceutical companies throughout his career, including a major corporation unnamed in court documents. Chen also worked at the same company. Wu moved to China in 2010 and opened a laboratory there in 2012 which focused on mRNA vaccine research.

Chen remained in the United States and continued working for the company while Wu was in China from 2012 through 2021. During that time, her research for the company also focused on mRNA vaccines.

Chen repeatedly accessed the company’s computers and copied confidential materials between 2013 and 2018, according to DOJ. She then emailed those materials to her husband in China using her personal email account. The materials included PowerPoints and Word documents with DNA and mRNA sequencing data, and confidential vaccine research & development information.

“The defendants used their placement and access to obtain and illegally share confidential lab research for their own benefit,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy said in a statement.

Wu first appeared on the FBI’s radar in 2019, when one such PowerPoint with his name on it was discovered by authorities while investigating a Chinese man convicted of violating U.S. export controls.

In 2021, Wu closed his lab in China and attempted to move it to the United States. He packed its contents into five separate suitcases and flew to America. He did not declare any of the biological materials on his customs form, nor to the customs officer while passing through inspection.

Nevertheless, customs agents discovered chemical and biological samples in Wu’s possession, along with medical equipment and research documentation, as it had all been found to be improperly packaged.

In all, Wu was carrying nearly 1,000 unlabeled centrifuge tubes, which appeared to contain proteins, and multiple containers of unknown chemicals, the DOJ said. Some samples were even labeled as hazardous, and one bore a skull and crossbones image and the word “harmful if swallowed … toxic if inhaled.”

“These are serious computer fraud and smuggling crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “One defendant failed to protect her employer’s confidential and important research, and instead used it to her and her husband’s advantage.”

“Compounding the harm, the other defendant put travelers in harm’s way by illegally transporting his laboratory’s hazardous chemicals back to the United States.”

The saga is just the latest continuation of the DOJ’s ongoing struggle to curb an ever-rising number of China-related economic espionage and intellectual property theft cases. According to the FBI, there are currently over 2,000 active cases related to China-based attempts to steal vital technology and information from the United States.

The department was engaged in a Trump-era effort to curb such cases in a program known as the China Initiative, but the Biden administration scrapped that initiative following allegations of racial bias. The department clarified that an internal review found no evidence of bias, but that its “harmful perception” meant the initiative had to end.

Wu and Chen are both scheduled to be sentenced in August of this year.


Reprinted with Permission from - The Epoch Times by - Andrew Thornebrooke

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter
and Download the AMAC News App

Sign Up Today Download

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!


Subscribe
Notify of
20 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
www.easywork2.com
3 months ago

That’s why I say we have no hope for change except by force. This country has been taken over by corrupt politicians for over 45 years. Everyone one that in government from the past 45 years has baggage. They all need to be put on trial and investigated.i do home work ….

gihoki6373
3 months ago

That’s why I say we have no hope for change except by force. This country has been taken over by corrupt politicians for over 45 years. Everyone one that in government from the past 45 years has baggage. They all need to be put on trial and investigated.i do home work …..easywork2.com

gihoki6373
3 months ago

nuijh

Lynn
4 months ago

Isn’t this industrial espionage and TREASON. ??!!!

BereanJ
4 months ago

China is producing the poison jabs, and their people are dying from them!

papayec
4 months ago

Pedo Quid Pro Joe and his communist/fascist Rat Party don’t take kindly to folks who give Xi info they vould have sold to him.

JEFFREY JONES
4 months ago

Execute all chicoms now!!…BOOM!

Lynn
4 months ago
Reply to  JEFFREY JONES

and exectives of supposedly american companies and govt officials who hire them!

Mic J Palazzolo
4 months ago

DOJ? FBI? I don’t believe any of this. What no good is the deep state up to now?

Hdrydr
4 months ago

And nothing will happen to them here. They’ll get deported back to China and treated like hero’s.

Janet
4 months ago

We need to go back to the days when espionage was treated as a real crime and the result was death or life in prison. Today, they will probably just get a slap on the hand and be deported.

PaulE
4 months ago
Reply to  Janet

That would require a Justice Department and FBI that hasn’t been completely comprised at the leadership level. Sorry, but that is no longer realistic.

JR Fox
4 months ago

I have seen these same stories over and over. We need to disengage from China. I dated a Chinese American woman for about 2 years (2008-09) and she told me how her family lost most of their wealth during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Yet she always talked of how much she admired China. One time she said “China is better than America!” when a couple of Chinese Nationals with work visas were in her car with us. Once Chinese always Chinese, and I notice the other immigrants seem to be the same way. Instead of a “Melting Pot” we have become a nation of “groups and races”. Diversity is divisiveness. Democrat’s plan of “Divide and conquer” is working.

PaulE
4 months ago
Reply to  JR Fox

The thing you have to remember about most Chinese that come to this country is that when they are in a group, even just another couple like your situation, they can’t be sure that the other Chinese person isn’t a member of the CCP. Also, many Chinese that come here are concerned that the CCP may be somehow monitoring them via bugs or other means. The fear of potential retaliation from the CCP is constant.

One in 10 of the Chinese people belong to the CCP in China. So they all have to be on guard concerning what they say and do. If they talk out of turn or say something bad about China or its leadership, family members back in China will be retaliated against. It’s how the CCP keeps control of the people that they let come to the United States or elsewhere for education or work.

The Soviets used a similar method in East Germany during the occupation. Everyone was constantly on the alert to not say or do anything that might indicate they were not a loyal supporter of the communist party. The STAZI or their informants could be anywhere or anyone. Even many German families were concerned that one of their family members might be an informant for the STAZI, so everyone spoke in hushed tones or said nothing at all that might indicate they were not fully supportive of communist rule.

Richard C..
4 months ago

Nothing new, and I’m sure we’re doing nada, zilch, nothing, the big goose egg about any of it. China is not our friend, yet their treated as close family…when will we wake up?

JR Fox
4 months ago
Reply to  Richard C..

When people take their hands out of China’s pocket. All about greed and profit.

CoNMTX
4 months ago

I’m quite certain the demo/Marxists will punish them. They will be given a home, a pension for life, everything free. They will be in the Biden hall of fame.

anna hubert
4 months ago

After how many decades this is supposed to be a shocking discovery?

PaulE
4 months ago

Well another comment, with nothing wrong with it in any way, is once again censored by AMAC.

PaulE
4 months ago

The article describes the sort of activity that is all too common. IP theft, either for the CCP or personal self-enrichment, is essentially a national pastime for far too many Chinese at this point. So nothing new or particularly insightful from that perspective.

The only unintentionally amusing part of the article comes towards the every end with:

“The saga is just the latest continuation of the DOJ’s ongoing struggle to curb an ever-rising number of China-related economic but the Biden administration scrapped that initiative following allegations of racial bias. The department clarified that an internal review found no evidence of bias, but that its “harmful perception” meant the initiative had to end.”

That an effective program to curb Chinese IP theft had to be scrapped, because it was started under the Trump administration says it all. Anything that goes against the last 30 years of just ignoring the growing Chinese threat, that successive Presidential administrations enabled in the first place, has to be dismantled. Otherwise the Chinese schedule for world dominance would be endangered.

20
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x