A Chinese-born American convicted of stealing trade secrets from Motorola was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison in a case that both the judge and prosecutors hoped would send a message to those who might be tempted to siphon vital information from U.S. companies.
"In today's world, the most valuable thing that anyone has is technology. … The most important thing this country can do is protect its trade secrets," U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo said before sentencing Hanjuan Jin.
Jin, who worked as a software engineer for Motorola Inc. for nine years, was stopped during a random security search at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Feb. 28, 2007, before she could board a flight to China. Prosecutors say she was carrying $31,000 and hundreds of confidential Motorola documents, many stored on a laptop, four external hard drives, thumb drives and other devices.