Four Chinese charged with selling electronics equipment to China

Ning Wen, 55, his wife, Halin Liu, 55 and two Chinese nationals, Jian Guo Qu, 45, and Ruo Ling Wang, 40 have have been charged with illegally selling $500,000 worth of electronics equipment to China, FBI says. The circuit boards and computer chips could have been used by the Chinese government to improve their missiles, radar or military communications device. If convicted, each faces up to 25 years in prison. Wen worked as a paid informant for the FBI until about eight months ago. Wen also served as a manager for a subsidiary of The Manitowoc Co. Another branch of the company holds a multimillion dollar contract with the U.S. Navy.

In 1992, Wen and Lin set up a company, Wen Enterprises. They are accused of shipping the sensitive equipment to Qu and Wang, who allegedly then passed it on to at least one organization controlled by the Chinese government. That organization, known as the 54th Research Institute, has been identified by the U.S. Department of Commerce as posing "an unacceptable risk in the development of missiles," according to the affidavit. Wen and Lin indicated that the equipment ultimately would be used by Chinese forces against Taiwan.

Wen, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was born in China and was recruited by the FBI in 1989. At that time, he was working for the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles. Wen continued to serve as an FBI informant after he moved to Wisconsin in 1993. (Source: Gina Barton and Rick Barrett, Journal Sentinel, Sept. 30, 2004).

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