Engineer gets stiff sentence in export case

March 24, 2008 1:10:51 PM PDT
A Chinese-born engineer who conspired to export U.S. defense technology to China has been sentenced to twenty four and a half years in federal prison. Chi Mak, 67, was also convicted last year of acting as an unregistered foreign agent, attempting to violate export control laws and making false statements to the FBI.

He worked on highly sensitive submarine propulsion systems as an engineer for Anaheim-based naval defense contractor Power Paragon.

Mak was arrested in late 2005 in Los Angeles after FBI agents stopped his brother and sister-in-law as they boarded a flight to Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China.

Investigators said they found three encrypted CDs in their luggage that contained documents on a submarine propulsion system, a solid-state power switch for ships and a PowerPoint presentation on the future of power electronics.

Mak wanted a new trial, but a judge denied the request earlier this year.