A nuclear engineer who helped acquire U.S. atomic technology for China was sentenced today to two years in federal prison and a year of probation.
According to a release from the U.S. attorney's office in Knoxville, Szuhsiung "Allen" Ho, a naturalized U.S. citizen, violated the Atomic Energy Act by conspiring to develop nuclear technology for China without permission of the U.S. Department of Energy. He was indicted in April 2016 and pleaded guilty in January.
According to court documents Ho, who owned Delaware-based Energy Technology International, was a consultant for China General Nuclear Power Co., the largest nuclear power company in China and owned by the Chinese government. China General specialized in developing and manufacturing nuclear reactors.
Prosecutors charged that between 1997 and 2016, Ho conspired to develop special nuclear material in China, recruiting U.S.-based nuclear engineers to help design and make components for nuclear reactors, and to and provide technical assistance in China.
"The U.S. Attorney's office is committed to working to ensure that sensitive and controlled technology is not illegally obtained and exported from the United States," U.S. Attorney Nancy Stallard Harr said in the release. "Violations of our export control laws will be aggressively prosecuted in the Eastern District of Tennessee."
Renae McDermott, FBI Knoxville Special Agent in Charge, said: "Theft of our nuclear technology by foreign adversaries is of paramount concern to the FBI. Along with our local, state and, federal partners, we will aggressively investigate those who seek to steal our technology for the benefit of foreign governments."
Ho will be on probation for one year after serving his sentence, and ws ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.