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June 05, 2007 

Three of Chi Mak's Relatives Plead Guilty to Export Violations

The AP has reported that three relatives of Chi Mak, the Chinese-born engineer who was convicted on May 10th of trying to export U.S. defense technology to China, have pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy. The report indicates that Chi Mak's brother pleaded guilty to conspiring to export control laws, his sister-in-law pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the violation of export control laws and his son pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the violation of export control laws. All three were supposed to stand trial tomorrow in Federal Court in Santa Ana, California. The trial of Mr. Mak's wife apparently will begin as scheduled.

Mr. Mak was arrested in 2005 in after FBI agents stopped his brother and sister-in-law as they boarded a flight at Los Angeles International Airport to Hong Kong. The government alleged that they found three encrypted CDs in their luggage containing documents on a submarine propulsion system, a solid-state power switch for ships and a Power Point presentation on the future of power electronics. Mak's son was arrested later and accused of encrypting the material.

A key issue in this case was whether the information that was attempted to be sent by Mak to China was in the public domain or not, since some of the materials included papers presented at public conferences.




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