The government will be asking for the harshest sentence ever in a corporate theft case: 10 to 12 1/2 years in prison for Hanjuan Jin. The software engineer was convicted of stealing tens of millions of dollars in Motorola trade secrets. At Wednesday's sentencing in federal court, Jin's lawyers will argue for leniency.
In February, the Chinese-born software expert was convicted of stealing technology secrets from her employer, Motorola. Jin had been arrested at O'Hare Airport with a one-way ticket to Beiijing and thousands of confidential Motorola files.
Prosecutors said that Jin knew Motorola technology would end up in the hands of the Chinese military, but she was acquitted of the most serious espionage charges. Despite that, newly filed court records state that prosecutors will ask for a sentence longer than any corporate thief in United States history, from 121 to 151 months.
Jin's attorneys call that "grossly disproportionate" and say that of the 81 Americans ever convicted of theft of trade secrets, the longest sentence was 96 months, and most of the thieves received 12 months or less.
On Wednesday, Jin's attorneys will ask for probation, citing her lack of criminal intent and declining health, illness that she claimed even four years ago when first interviewed by the I-Team.
"They're paranoid. They wrongly accuse me. I have fatal disease," Jin told the I-Team. : "I have TB and meningitis...I almost died."
Jin has always admitted taking the Motorola files but still maintains that she was only trying to prepare for future employment and not trying to make money by selling secrets.