A federal grand jury in Los Angelestwoweeksagoaddednewcharges againstafamilysuspectedofpassing U.S. Navy weapons technology to China.
Five family members who had beenchargedpreviouslywithacting as agents of a foreign power were chargedOct.25withconspiringtoexport defense technology to Beijing.
U.S. counterintelligence officials saidthespycasewasextremelydamagingtotheNavyandotherservices.
The superseding indictment states that Chi Mak, 66; his wife, Rebecca Laiwah Chiu, 63; Mr. Mak’s brother, Tai Mak, 57; Tai Mak’s wife, Fuk Heung Li, 49, and Tai Mak’s son Billy Yui Mak, 26, conspired to send Navy sounddampening technology, which officials say makes U.S. warships sound like a Lexus at idle.
The 15-count superseding indictment also charged the five with attempted and actual export of defense articles to China, possession of property in aid of a foreign government and making false statements to investigators.
Court papers identified the Chinese intelligence officer suspected of directing the purported spy ring’s activityasPuPei-liang,aresearcher attheChineseCenterforAsia-Pacific Studies at Zhongshan University, knowntoU.S.intelligenceofficialsas CAPS.
According to the court, the Chinese agent gave the purported spy ring the task of seeking sensitive U.S. Navy research on nuclear submarines and other defense systems under development. The papers say most of the data was obtained by Chi Mak, an engineer with Navy contractor Power Paragon.
If convicted, the Maks face maximumsentencesof10yearsto30years in prison. Trial for Chi Mak is scheduled for March, and the other family membersaresetfortrialinMay.The investigation of the case was conducted by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough are Pentagon reporters. Mr. Gertz can be reached at 202/636-3274 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Scarborough can be reached at 202/636-3208 or at email@example.com.