China/PRC/CCP crimes/espionage/charges in other countries

Jun 16th, 2020 (edited)
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  1. [Espionage, blackmail]
  3. [Australia]
  5. [June 7, 2019] China accused of stealing Australian students’ data to blackmail them
  6. >China has been accused of stealing the personal data of 200,000 students and staff in Australia to blackmail them into becoming spies.
  7. >The Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, whose alumni include prime ministers, diplomats, and military leaders, revealed the attack on Tuesday.
  8. >Senior intelligence officials strongly suspect China of having orchestrated the attack, which targeted bank numbers, tax details and academic records going back 19 years, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
  10. >Authorities have described the attack as “sophisticated”, indicating it was almost certainly the work of a government as opposed to a criminal or political group.
  11. >China is one of the few countries thought to be capable of pulling off such a large hack, and officials are concerned that it intends to use the information to groom a new generation of spies.
  13. >Vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt said that the breach had begun late last year but had only been detected a fortnight ago, meaning the hackers had access to the data for at least five months.
  14. >It’s thought Chinese intelligence services could have developed tactics used during the Cold War by the Soviet Union, who succeeded in recruiting future informants while they were still students.
  19. [USA]
  20. Former CIA Officer Arrested and Charged with Espionage
  21. >Alexander Yuk Ching Ma, 67, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer, was arrested on Aug. 14, 2020, on a charge that he conspired with a relative of his who also was a former CIA officer to communicate classified information up to the Top Secret level to intelligence officials of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Criminal Complaint containing the charge was unsealed this morning.
  23. >“The trail of Chinese espionage is long and, sadly, strewn with former American intelligence officers who betrayed their colleagues, their country and its liberal democratic values to support an authoritarian communist regime,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “This betrayal is never worth it. Whether immediately, or many years after they thought they got away with it, we will find these traitors and we will bring them to justice. To the Chinese intelligence services, these individuals are expendable. To us, they are sad but urgent reminders of the need to stay vigilant.”
  25. >“The charges announced today are a sobering reminder to our communities in Hawaii of the constant threat posed by those who seek to jeopardize our nation’s security through acts of espionage,” said U.S. Attorney Price. “Of particular concern are the criminal acts of those who served in our nation’s intelligence community, but then choose to betray their former colleagues and the nation-at large by divulging classified national defense information to China. My office will continue to tenaciously pursue espionage cases.”
  27. >“This serious act of espionage is another example in a long string of illicit activities that the People's Republic of China is conducting within and against the United States”
  31. University of Virginia Researcher Charged with Theft of Trade Secrets and Computer Intrusion
  32. >Haizhou Hu, a Chinese national conducting research at the University of Virginia, was arrested today and charged via criminal complaint with a pair of federal crimes just days after he attempted to board a flight to China. United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen and David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division announced the arrest.
  34. >Hu, 34, is charged with accessing a computer without authorization, or exceeding authorization to obtain information from a protected computer and theft of trade secrets.
  36. >According to court documents, investigators first became aware of Hu, who is in the United States conducting research studying bio-mimics and fluid dynamics at the University of Virginia, on August 25, 2020 when he attempted to board a flight to China at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. A routine screening conducted by authorities revealed that Hu was alleged to be in possession of bio-inspired research simulation software code that he was not authorized to possess, and which represented the result of years of research and resources in its development by members of the University of Virginia academic community.
  38. >The investigation of the case is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. First Assistant United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar and Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Kavanaugh are prosecuting the case for the United States.
  43. NASA Researcher Arrested for False Statements and Wire Fraud in Relation to China’s Talents Program
  44. >Texas A&M University Professor Working on U.S. Space Projects Allegedly Hid Affiliations with Chinese State Owned Academic and Commercial Institutions
  45. >Cheng allegedly led a team conducting research for NASA. According to the criminal complaint, for several years he willfully took steps to obscure his affiliations and collaboration with a Chinese University and at least one Chinese-owned company. The terms of Cheng’s grant prohibited participation, collaboration or coordination with China, any Chinese-owned company or any Chinese University, according to the charges.
  47. >“Once again, we have witnessed the criminal consequences that can arise from undisclosed participation in the Chinese government’s talent program,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “Professor Cheng allegedly made false statements to his university and to NASA regarding his affiliations with the Chinese government. The Department of Justice will continue seeking to bring participation in these talent programs to light and to expose the exploitation of our nation and our prized research institutions.”
  49. >“China is building an economy and academic institutions with bricks stolen from others all around the world,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick for the Southern District of Texas. “While 1.4 million foreign researchers and academics are here in the U.S. for the right reasons, the Chinese Talents Program exploits our open and free universities. These conflicts must be disclosed, and we will hold those accountable when such conflict violates the law.”
  51. >“As alleged, Zhengdong Cheng knowingly deceived NASA officials about his association with Chinese owned companies and universities, willingly accepted U.S. government funding, and defrauded his university”
  55. Chinese National Charged with Destroying Hard Drive During FBI Investigation into the Possible Transfer of Sensitive Software to China
  56. >A Chinese national and researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles has been arrested on federal charges of destroying evidence to obstruct an FBI investigation after he was observed throwing a damaged hard drive into a dumpster outside his apartment, the Justice Department announced today.
  58. >Guan Lei, 29, of Alhambra, was arrested pursuant to a one-count criminal complaint unsealed this afternoon during his initial appearance in United States District Court.
  60. >The criminal complaint alleges that Guan, who was in the U.S. on a J-1 non-immigrant visa, threw a damaged hard drive into a trash dumpster near his residence on July 25. The FBI recovered the damaged hard drive after Guan was not allowed to board a flight to China and after Guan refused the FBI’s request to examine his computer. The affidavit in support of the complaint notes that the internal hard drive “was irreparably damaged and that all previous data associated with the hard drive appears to have been removed deliberately and by force.”
  63. [February 10, 2020] Chinese Military Personnel Charged with Computer Fraud, Economic Espionage and Wire Fraud for Hacking into Credit Reporting Agency Equifax
  64. >Indictment Alleges Four Members of China’s People’s Liberation Army Engaged in a Three-Month Long Campaign to Steal Sensitive Personal Information of Nearly 150 Million Americans
  67. [July 9, 2020] Researcher Charged with Illegally Using U.S. Grant Funds to Develop Scientific Expertise for China
  68. >A rheumatology professor and researcher with strong ties to China has been ordered held without bond to face a charge of grant fraud for not disclosing that he was engaged in a sophisticated scheme to use approximately $4.1 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop China’s expertise in the areas of rheumatology and immunology. He is also charged with making false statements about maintaining employment in China at the same time he was employed at universities in the United States, including The Ohio State University.
  70. >Song Guo Zheng, 57, was arrested Friday, May 22, 2020, after he arrived in Anchorage, Alaska, aboard a charter flight and as he prepared to board another charter flight to China. When he was arrested, he was carrying three large bags, one small suitcase and a briefcase containing two laptops, three cellular telephones, several USB drives, several silver bars, expired Chinese passports for his family, deeds for property in China and other items.
  75. [Other]
  77. [World]
  79. China's pandemic opportunism in March-April 2020
  82. [USA]
  84. 900k counterfeit $1 bills from China
  87. Chinese person throws stuff at white house
  90. Former Army sergeant (by the name of Wong) arrested after allegedly posing as a National Guardsman during protests in Los Angeles
  93. Company President and Employee Arrested in Alleged Scheme to Violate the Export Control Reform Act
  94. >Chong Sik Yu, a/k/a “Chris Yu,” and Yunseo Lee. Yu and Lee are charged with conspiring to unlawfully export dual-use electronics components, in violation of the Export Control Reform Act, and to commit wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering. Yu and Lee were arrested this morning and are expected to be presented later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Nathaniel Fox in Manhattan federal court.
  96. >“The Department’s fight against illegal technology transfer to China is no more critical than in areas like those involved in this case — controlled items used in missile and nuclear technology,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “We will do everything in our power to disrupt illegal exports like these that jeopardize our national security.”
  97. >“Chong Sik Yu and Yunseo Lee are accused of violating U.S. export laws by sending electronics components with military applications to Hong Kong and China,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss. “Together with the Commerce Department and all of our law enforcement partners, we will continue to protect our national security by preventing dual-use technologies from being sent abroad without the required licenses.”
  99. >Since at least 2019, a U.S. company named America Techma Inc. (ATI) has illegally exported electronic components from the United States to Hong Kong for apparent re-export to other countries, including China, in violation of the Export Control Reform Act of 2018.
  100. >Yu is ATI’s President, and Lee is an ATI Sales Representative.
  104. Herbalife Agrees To Pay $123 Million To Resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Case
  105. >The charges arise out of a decade-long scheme by HERBALIFE to falsify books and records and provide corrupt payments and benefits to Chinese government officials for the purpose of obtaining, retaining, and increasing HERBALIFE’s business in China. In connection with the filed charges, SDNY and DOJ entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”) with HERBALIFE. Pursuant to the DPA, HERBALIFE admitted to participating in the charged conspiracy and will pay a criminal fine of $55,743,093.
  107. >By 2016, Herbalife China was responsible for approximately $860 million, or approximately 20 percent, of HERBALIFE’s worldwide annual net sales, which exceeded $4 billion. In China, to engage in direct selling – selling a company’s products through independent sales representatives – Chinese law required a company to obtain a direct selling license from national authorities as well as local authorities for each province in which a company intended to engage in direct selling. From March 2007 through 2016, Herbalife China obtained licenses to engage in direct sales in 28 provinces.
  109. >Beginning in or about at least 2007 through in or about 2016, HERBALIFE, through Li, Yang, and others, engaged in a scheme to falsify books and records and provide corrupt payments and benefits to Chinese government officials, including officials of Chinese government agencies and a state-owned media outlet, for the purpose of obtaining, retaining, and increasing HERBALIFE’s business in China by, among other things, (1) obtaining and retaining certain of Herbalife China’s direct selling licenses; (2) improperly influencing certain Chinese governmental investigations into Herbalife China’s compliance with Chinese laws applicable to its business; and (3) improperly influencing certain Chinese state-owned and state-controlled media for the purpose of removing negative media reports about Herbalife China.
  112. Three Texans, One New Yorker Indicted for Conspiracy to Sell Sanctioned Iranian Petroleum to Refinery in China for Millions in Profit
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