Courtesy of Department of Justice

An electrical engineer has been found guilty of multiple federal criminal charges, including engaging in a scheme to illegally obtain integrated circuits with military applications that later were exported to China without the required export license.  Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney Nicola T. Hanna for the Central District of California and Assistant Director in Charge Paul Delacourt of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.

After a six-week trial, Yi-Chi Shih, 64, a part-time Los Angeles resident, was found guilty on June 26 of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), a federal law that makes illegal, among other things, certain unauthorized exports.  The jury also found Shih guilty of mail fraud, wire fraud, subscribing to a false tax return, making false statements to a government agency and conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information.  Shih was convicted of all 18 counts in a federal grand jury indictment.

United States District Judge Kronstadt, who presided over a trial that spanned seven weeks in Los Angeles, California, decided on Monday that he will later consider the forfeiture allegations in the indictment, where the government is seeking that Shih should forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Judge Kronstadt discharged the jury that previously had been scheduled today to consider forfeiture allegations against Shih.

United States District Judge John A. Kronstadt will also schedule a sentencing hearing, where Shih faces a statutory maximum sentence of 219 years in federal prison.

“The Department’s China Initiative is focused on preventing and prosecuting thefts of American technology and intellectual property for the benefit of China,” said Assistant Attorney General Demers.  “The defendant has been found guilty of conspiring to export sensitive semiconductor chips with military applications to China.  I would like to thank the prosecutors and agents, including those from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, for theirs efforts in this successful investigation and prosecution.”

“This defendant schemed to export to China semiconductors with military and civilian uses, then he lied about it to federal authorities and failed to report income generated by the scheme on his tax returns,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna. “My office will enforce laws that protect our nation’s intellectual property from being used to benefit foreign adversaries who may compromise our national security.”