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

Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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by Outside Contributor
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20 Comments
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.

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www.easywork2.com
www.easywork2.com
1 year 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
gihoki6373
1 year 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
gihoki6373
1 year ago

nuijh

Lynn
Lynn
1 year ago

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

BereanJ
BereanJ
1 year ago

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

papayec
papayec
1 year 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
JEFFREY JONES
1 year ago

Execute all chicoms now!!…BOOM!

Mic J Palazzolo
Mic J Palazzolo
1 year ago

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

Hdrydr
Hdrydr
1 year ago

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

Janet
Janet
1 year 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.

JR Fox
JR Fox
1 year 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.

Richard C..
Richard C..
1 year 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?

CoNMTX
CoNMTX
1 year 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
anna hubert
1 year ago

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

PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

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

PaulE
PaulE
1 year 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.

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