Couple found guilty of trying to sell GM hybrid tech to China sentenced to year in prison

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."

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