Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Sensitive Military Documents from United Technologies and Exporting Them to China


By: Danielle McClellan

Yu Long, 38, a citizen of China and permanent resident of the US, plead guilty on December 19, 2016 to one count of conspiracy to engage in the theft of trade secrets as well as one count of unlawful export and attempted export of defense articles from the US. Long worked as a Senior Engineer/Scientist at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) from May 2008 to May 2014 where he worked on F119 and F135 engines. During this time Long always intended to return to China to work on research projects at state-run universities in China using the knowledge and materials he was acquiring at UTRC. During 2013 and 2014, Long was recruited by Shenyang Institute of automation (SIA), of China, where he substantiated claims that he could provide documents from his work at UTRC and examples of projects on which he worked.

On May 30, 2014, Long left URTC and began travelling back and forth between the US and China with a UTRC external hard drive that he unlawfully retained after his employment ended. On November 7, 2014, Long was arrested, two days after he attempted to board a plane to China with sensitive, proprietary and export controlled documents from Rolls Royce, not URTC. His checked baggage was inspected by CBP officer in Newark, NJ, where the hard drive was found with all of the proprietary, export controlled information.

After his digital media was seized it was found that he had voluminous files protected by the ITAR and EAR, as well as files proprietary to UTRC, Pratt, and Rolls Royce. UTRC confirmed that the hard drive that he stole and accessed in China contained not only documents and data from projects long worked on, but also from projects that he did not work on. It was found that he obtained Pratt and Rolls Royce proprietary information from a project that the US Air Force had convened a consortium of major defense contractors to work together to see if they could collectively lower the costs of specific metals used.

A sentencing date has not been set but Long faces a maximum term of imprisonment for 15 years for the theft of trade secrets charge and 20 years of imprisonment for violated the Arms Export Act.

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