Five months ago, former General Motors engineer Shanshan Du and her husband, Yu Qin were convicted of stealing hybrid technology trade secrets, in attempts to sell the information to Chinese competitors.

US District Judge Marianne Battani sentenced Du to serve one year and one day in prison, a relatively lightweight sentence compared with the minimum six and a half years called for by Federal guidelines. (The minimum sentence is not mandatory, in this instance.) Qin meanwhile, who was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice, in addition to the conspiracy and possessing trade secrets convictions he shared with his wife, was sentenced to three years in prison. Both will remain free until late this summer.

The Associated Press and ABC News report that Judge Battani took Du's health problems, as well as threat to the public, into account with the sentencing. Said Battani, "I don't think the public needs to be protected from you, but it needs to be protected from others like you," according to the AP story.

Du and Qin both admitted to being guilty of and remorseful for their crimes, claiming they made "wrong decisions."

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      One year!? Can you imagine how long they would have been locked away in China if things went the other way around... they probably would have been executed.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Wrong. China is corrupted. Much easier to get away.
          • 1 Year Ago
          China is way more protective of their industry secrets. You just don't hear about them.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, doesn't surprise me. Spies are everywhere, and at least they caught the people this time. Although why does everyone have to be so racist? Asian or not, I think the sentences is rather short for the crime
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is only the tip of an iceberg. These corporate espionage happen more often than you think. They just don't get caught.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Correct. Just like any other news report on what gets printed at the time. Just do not believe everything you read. There is much more to the story.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Chinese copying designs and technology? You don't say!
        • 1 Year Ago
        Why innovate when you can imatate? \"Pioneers starve, settles thrive.\"
      • 1 Year Ago
      How can the judge not even give the minimum sentence? There should have been an example set. This goes beyond GM and the hybrid. Does our patent system mean anything? Can a company. Can an employer require confidentiality of its employees?
      • 1 Year Ago
      Simple crooks - they deserve far more time in the hoosegow.
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is their culture. The communist party system does not allow for free enterprise and resourceful thinking and ambition. They steal everything and reverse engineer it or allow American companies to set up shop and exploit their labor while they gain the technology from the products manufactured. They have been accomplishing this scheme for decades by exploiting the western concept of cheapest and lowest price and thanks to the idiot consumers they target, they are now the worlds prominent super power
      • 1 Year Ago
      One year????? They made a wrong decision??? Making a wrong decision means that one makes a decision where there is no clear path. Making a decision where there is lying, cheating, bribery, treachery, etc. is not a gray area. They intended to hurt GM and the USA for monetary gain. They deserve 20 years in prison!!!!
      • 1 Year Ago
      Their only remorse is that they got caught before they got paid.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Only a year? Maybe we should rethink judges like Judge Battani being allowed to adjudicate these kinds of cases since he/she clearly is too lenient. These are chinese immigrants who tried to use the wife's position with GM to sell trade secrets to another country. I'd say that's worth at least 5 years mandatory. Yet we let these people off with barely a wrist slap but these same judges will give someone in possession of marijuana a 10 year sentence in a heartbeat. SMH...
      • 1 Year Ago
      yeah, the forrmer USSR said the West was finished too. But fundamental/terminal flaws in Eastern social and political systems have already sealed the fate of that desperate part of the world. With nothing to lose, they steal....A sad lot are they.
      Eta Carinae
      • 1 Year Ago
      treat them like Americans and charge them to the FULL extent of the law.......they shouldn't be treated differently....stealing from an American company on America em'
    • Load More Comments