Silicon Valley worker faces trade secrets theft charges

Former Chinese national charged with stealing military software from a U.S. firm to sell to Asian governments

A former Chinese national is facing U.S. federal charges of stealing trade secrets from a Silicon Valley company and selling them to foreign governments.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco Thursday filed a 36-count indictment in U.S. District Court for Northern California against Xiaodong Sheldon Meng accusing him of stealing military application trade secrets from Quantum3D, of San Jose, California, and using them to try to sell the technology to the People's Republic of China, the Malaysian Air Force and the Thailand Air Force.

Quantum3D designs high-end graphics computers that run visual simulation training software for military applications such as flight simulators. Meng, a one-time employee of Quantum3D, stole the trade secrets with the intent that they would be used to benefit those foreign governments, according to the U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan.

The technology is covered by the U.S. Economic Espionage Act of 1996, which prohibits its sale abroad without an export license.

Quantum3D has cooperated fully in the government's investigation, the U.S. attorney said in a statement.

Meng, 42, was released on a US$500,000 bond and is scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate in San Jose on Monday.

The indictment follows a two-year investigation of the case involving the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security.