HomeChinese AmericanFBI Arrests Engineer for Allegedly Stealing Patents He Created

FBI Arrests Engineer for Allegedly Stealing Patents He Created

 Xiaoging Zheng

Views from the Edge

A day after his arrest by the FBI, an engineer employed by General Electric appeared before a federal judge Thursday (Aug. 3) and was released on $100,000 bond.

Xiaoqing Zheng, 56, of Niskayuna, New York, was arrested Wednesday (Aug. 2) in connection with a criminal complaint charging him with stealing trade secrets belonging to General Electric (GE).

Zheng’s attorney, Kevin A. Luibrand, told U.S. Magistrate Christian F. Hummel that his client’s reputation had been unnecessarily “destroyed.” He said there is no evidence that Zheng colluded with the Chinese government or that he sold or used the GE data.

The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney Grant C. Jaquith for the Northern District of New York, and, Acting Special Agent in Charge Charles Margiotta of the FBI’s Albany Division.

The criminal complaint alleges that on or about July 5, Zheng, an engineer employed by General Electric, used an elaborate and sophisticated means to remove electronic files containing GE’s trade secrets involving its turbine technologies. Specifically, Zheng is alleged to have used steganography to hide data files belonging to GE into an innocuous looking digital picture of a sunset, and then to have e-mailed the digital picture, which contained the stolen GE data files, to Zheng’s e-mail account.

Luibrand told the judge that the data his client copied were programs of patented information that he had created. The charges do not allege Zheng sold the data or used it in furtherance of several technology businesses he is involved with in China.

“This is not state secrets,” Luibrand said. “This is not espionage.”

Luibrand said the patented data technology relates to steam-turbine engineering and there are no export controls that would prohibit transfer of that type of information between China and the United States.

LinkedIn page for a Xiaoqing Zheng states that he holds 29 patents.
The charge filed against Zheng carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to three years.

Zheng, who is a U.S. citizen, was hired by GE in 2008 and holds master’s and doctorate degrees in aeroengineering from Northwestern Polytechnic University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff or submitting a story.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Worth the Time

Must Read

Regular Features


Discover more from AsAmNews

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading