Accused spy will spend the rest of his life behind bars

Dongfan "Greg" Chung, 74, was sentenced by a federal court to more than 15 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney, who wanted the long-time Chinese spy to face appropriate punishment for his actions.

During his tenure as a Boeing engineer, he reportedly took home 300,000 pages of classified Boeing documents.  Specifically, he had documents of the Delta IV rocket, space shuttle, F-15 fighter, CH-46/47 Chinook helicopter and B-52 bomber, along with other aerospace technologies from Boeing.

Chung secretly worked with the Chinese government for up to 30 years, and was the first person convicted under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996.

Chung claimed he took the documents home for a new book he was working on, but was unable to provide evidence.  Both the judge and prosecutor didn't believe the excuse, and said he caused damage to both Boeing and the United States.

"Your honor, I am not a spy, I am only an ordinary man," Chung said during the sentencing.  "Your honor, I love this country... Your honor, I beg your pardon and let me live with my family peacefully."

Federal prosecutors previously requested a 20-year prison sentence, regardless of Chung's age.  The period of time from the start of his crime removed the chance of leniency, legal experts noted.

The U.S. government aims to crackdown on espionage committed by foreign residents working for U.S. contractors.  There is a growing concern China continues to recruit spies.

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