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Woman who helped ‘technology spy’ sentenced to 50 months for export conspiracy

A California woman was sentenced to 50 months in prison for conspiring to illegally export fighter jet engines and a missile-firing drone to China.

Wenxia Man, aka Wency Man, was convicted by a federal jury in Fort Lauderdale in June of one count of conspiring to export and cause the export of defense articles without the required license.

Man, 45, of San Diego, was born in China and became a U.S. citizen in 2006. She was sentenced last month.

She told undercover U.S. investigators she worked for Xinsheng Zhang. She described Zhang as a “technology spy” who worked on behalf of the Chinese military. Man said Zhang was particularly interested in stealth technology.

The U.S. has reportedly indicted Zhang. But he lives in China and hasn’t been arrested.

Prosecutors said Man conspired with Zhang from 2011 through 2013 to illegally acquire and export to China defense articles including:

  • Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines used in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
  • Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines used in the F-22 Raptor fighter jet
  • General Electric F110-GE-132 engines designed for the F-16 fighter jet
  • General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper/Predator B Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, capable of firing Hellfire Missiles, and
  • Technical data for each item. 

Prosecutors said Zhang discussed paying $50 million to an undercover agent in Florida for delivery to China of the MG-9 Reaper drone. It’s a defense article on the U.S. defense munitions list.

The Chinese military intended to copy the jet engines and the drone, the DOJ said.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He’ll be the keynote speaker at the FCPA Blog NYC Conference 2016.

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1 Comment

  1. Why is the punishment for such a serious crime be a mere 50 months? There should be NO reason why this thief should not be stripped of her US citizenship and deported back to China with no chance of entering this country in the future. There have been too many incidents of Chinese born individuals who have stolen out intellectual property and compromised our national security. I can assure you that for every one that is convicted, there are hundreds if not thousands who have gotten away with these crimes. Just talk to the leadership of companies like Cisco, Lucent, Nokia, Merck, HP, Boeing, for starters, I can go on, but you get it.

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