South Bay Resident Charged With Smuggling And Exporting American Aviation Technology To Beijing University | USAO-NDCA
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Attorney’s Office has today filed a criminal complaint accusing Jonathan Yet Wing Soong of smuggling and violating export control laws by allegedly secretly channeling sensitive aeronautical software to a Beijing university. announced U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds; Special Agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Sean Ragan; Department of Commerce, Office of Industry and Security, Office of Export (BIS), Special Agent in charge of John D. Masters; Special Agent in Charge of the Defense Criminal Investigation Service (DCIS) Bryan D. Denny. Soong made his initial appearance to face charges in federal court today in the early hours before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero.
The allegations against Soong, 34, of San Jose, were set forth in a complaint filed on May 23, 2022 and revealed today. According to the complaint, Soong was employed by the University Space Research Association (USRA) between April 2016 and September 2020 as the program administrator. USRA is a non-profit corporation contracted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to, among other things, distribute sensitive national and international aeronautics-related software developed through the Software Transfer Agreement (STA) program. ) of the Army. As an administrator of USRA’s STA program, Soong was responsible for overseeing certain software license sales, conducting customer export compliance checks, generating software licenses, and occasionally physically exporting software.
Soong is supposed to have received training and knowledge of export compliance rules which, among other things, restrict sales and exports to certain entities. In this case, the complaint describes rules that restrict sales of certain technology to entities on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s list of entities (List of Entities), a list of associated regulations that the Department of Commerce maintains in accordance with federal and presidential laws. directive. The list of entities and associated regulations prohibit the unlicensed export of certain technology with commercial applications and military potential to entities and individuals that have been found to be contrary to national security or foreign policy interests. USA. The complaint alleges that Soong exported illegally and without a license and facilitated the sale and transfer of software to an entity on the list of entities: Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (BUAA), which is also known as Beihang University. According to the complaint, Beihang University was added to the list of entities due to the University’s involvement in military rocket systems of the People’s Republic of China and unmanned aerial vehicle systems. Due to its inclusion in the List of Entities, BUAA is prohibited from receiving certain items without a license. The complaint alleges that Soong used an intermediary in the hope that the illegal transfer would not be detected.
At issue in this case is a software package that is marketed for the development of drones. Army flight control software packages, known in the complaint as CIFER, acted as a tool to allow a user to develop a dynamic model of an aircraft based on collective flight test data. The package could be used to analyze and design aircraft control systems. According to the complaint, in April 2017, Soong learned that BUAA was on the list of entities and yet arranged to sell and transfer the CIFER software package to BUAA. Finally, Soong exported directly to Beihang University in July 2018. The complaint alleges that Soong arranged to sell the CIFER software package to Beijing Rainbow Technical Development Ltd. as an intermediary for the purchase to disguise the participation of BUAA, as Soong knew that BUAA could not receive this technology without a license from the Department of Commerce. The complaint describes how Soong arranged for the intermediary to receive the CIFER software package, and finally Soong arranged for the passwords for the CIFER software package to be sent to Beihang University with payment from Beijing Rainbow.
A criminal complaint only alleges that crimes have been committed. All defendants, including Soong, are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Soong is charged with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), in violation of 50 USC §§ 1701–1707, and smuggling, in violation of 18 USC § 554. Violation of the IEEPA carries a penalty 20 years in prison and a $ 1,000,000 fine. The smuggling count carries a maximum legal sentence of 10 years in prison and a $ 250,000 fine. In addition, as part of any sentence handed down after the conviction, the court may order restitution and up to three years of supervised release. However, any sentence after conviction would be imposed by the court only after considering the U.S. sentencing guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 USC § 3553.
Soong’s next scheduled appearance is scheduled for June 2, 2022, before the U.S. Magistrate Judge the Honorable Laurel Beeler.
U.S. Attorney General Barbara Valliere of the Special Proceedings Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office is processing the case with the assistance of Maddi Wachs and Kathy Tat. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the BIS, DCIS and the FBI with the assistance of NASA’s Office of the Inspector General; U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division; U.S. military counterintelligence; and the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations.