Split verdict in spy case at Motorola

Hanjuan Jin of Schaumburg was found guilty on Wednesday afternoon of stealing secrets from the U.S. cellphone company Motorola.

February 8, 2012 4:19:32 PM PST
The government accused her of leading a double life.The judge found her guilty in only one of them.

While employed at Motorola, Hanjuan Jin of Schaumburg was accused of being a spy for a competitor and for the Chinese military.

The Chinese-born American woman was found guilty on Wednesday afternoon of stealing secrets from the U.S. cellphone company, but acquitted on espionage charges. As the I-Team first reported more than three years ago, Ms. Jin, 41, was charged after she was found to be carrying a one-way ticket to China, $31,000 in cash and about 1,000 Motorola Inc. documents, during a random security search at O'Hare International Airport on Feb. 28, 2007.

Federal prosecutors charged Jin, a University of Notre Dame graduate who rose through the Motorola ranks, with downloading the documents at her Chicago-area office after returning from an extended medical leave a few days earlier.Jin's attorney, Beth Gaus, conceded that the Motorola employee violated company policy by removing the documents. But she maintained Jin had no ill intent and merely took the files to refresh her technical knowledge after her long sick leave.

The government said Jin began cooperating with a tech company in China while on her leave and knew the stolen information could end up with the Chinese military.

Jin had she been convicted of the corporate spying and espionage charges, she could be sentenced to more than a decade in federal prison. Her sentencing range is now believed to be far less. Sentencing is April 18. Ms. Jin will remain on home confinement until that date.

Federal prosecutors say part of her scheme was caught on a security camera at Motorola.

The video shows Jin coming and going -- sometimes in the middle of the night -- from Door 11 at Building 1301 at Motorola's headquarters in Schaumburg. It was February 26, 2007, and Jin had just gone back to work after a one-year medical leave.

Jin consistently denied that she was a spy.

She waived her right to a jury trial, so U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo heard the case late last year. In a brief court hearing Wednesday afternoon, Judge Castillo delivered the split verdict.