Chinese national arrested in US probe of possible transfer of software to China

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – A Chinese national who is a researcher at a California university was arrested and charged with destroying a computer hard drive during an FBI investigation into the possible transfer of sensitive software to China, the US Justice Department said on Friday (Aug 28).

Guan Lei, 29, of Alhambra, California, a researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, was arrested after he was seen throwing a damaged hard drive into a dumpster outside his apartment in July, the department said in a statement.

“Guan is being investigated for possibly transferring sensitive US software or technical data to China’s National University of Defense Technology” and falsely denying his association with the Chinese military on his visa application and in interviews with federal agents, the Justice Department said.

The statement did not say when the investigation started.

Guan made an initial court appearance on Friday and an arraignment was scheduled for Sept 17, the statement said. The felony offence of destruction of evidence carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

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