Pomona woman sentenced to prison for smuggling restricted space communications technology to China
A Chinese national was sentenced to 46 months in prison for her role in smuggling to China sensitive space communications technology during a hearing Monday at the federal courthouse in Santa Ana.
Si Chen, 33, of Pomona, previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which restricts the export of some goods and technology to foreign nations.
Chen also admitted to money laundering and using a forged passport in order to carry out what federal prosecutors allege was a plot to secretly send items with military applications to China.
“The smuggled items could be used in a number of damaging ways, including in equipment that could jam our satellite communications,” United States Attorney Nick Hanna said in a written statement. “We will aggressively target all persons who provide foreign agents with technology in violation of U.S. law.”
Among the items Chen was charged with sending to China were components commonly used in military communications “jammers,” according to the U.S. Attorneys Office, as well as devices worth more than $100,000 that are used in space communications applications.
Prosecutors say that to cover her tracks, Chen undervalued the equipment on shipping paperwork, and received payments through an account held at a bank in China by a family member.