Former Motorola employee acquitted of espionage charges

February 8, 2012

Associated Press

A lawyer for a Chinese-born American convicted of stealing trade secrets from a U.S. cellphone company says the mixed verdict at least proves his client was no spy.

The attorney spoke shortly after a judge convicted Hanjuan Jin on Wednesday of stealing trade secrets from Motorola Inc. But the judge acquitted her of economic espionage, saying the evidence was insufficient.

Attorney John Murphy said that acquittal was a "full repudiation" of government claims that Jin acted as a spy for China. Despite the espionage acquittal, the 41-year-old Jin still faces up to 10 years in prison for each of the three theft counts on which she was convicted.

Murphy said the defense will appeal those convictions.

Prosecutors said Jin rose through Motorola Inc.'s ranks only to steal documents from her Chicago-area Motorola office in 2007. They said she then tried to flee on a one-way ticket to China.