Hartford Courant: "Former UTC Scientist Charged With Trying To Take Sensitive Files To China"

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Another former employee of United Technologies Corp. has been arrested by federal authorities and accused of trying to take sensitive documents relating to military aerospace programs to another country.

[by Brian Dowling | December 9, 2014 | Hartford Courant]

In a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday at U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, authorities say that Yu Long, 36, attempted to bring to China defense documents that were labeled with warnings against copying them or taking them outside the country.

In August, Long returned from a trip to China with documents detailing his former employment as a scientist and engineer with the defense contractor; $10,000 in cash, which he had not declared; and paperwork to apply for work with a state-controlled aerospace research center in China, the complaint said.

Three months later, Long planned another trip to China, this time packing three documents related to a defense industry group researching the affordability of certain aerospace metals, federal officials said. Authorities say they found the papers in Long's checked baggage on Nov. 7 when he was in Newark meeting a connecting flight to China.

After being interviewed by federal authorities at the airport, Long did not take his flight, and he was arrested two days later in Ithaca, N.Y.

Federal authorities said the documents they found were owned by a second company, which described their contents to investigators as "critical in the development of technologically advanced titanium for use in advanced aircraft."

The complaint refers to Long's employer as "Company A" and "a major defense contractor in Connecticut," but online biographies and other published materials list Long as a senior scientist in the physics sciences department at the United Technologies Research Center.

United Technologies Corp. confirmed that Long was an employee of the company's research center in East Hartford, and a spokeswoman said the company was "fully cooperating with the government's investigation" but would not comment further due to the continuing investigation.

Long left the company earlier this year, federal officials said.

Long is the second former United Technologies employee accused this year of trying to take export-controlled documents to another country. In January, federal authorities arrested a former Pratt & Whitney engineer who they say attempted to ship to Iran thousands of pages of technical documents, some relating to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. That case is pending.

Long worked with Pratt & Whitney's additive manufacturing and casting processes, according to an online biography posted by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers on its website after the group recognized him for an award.

Long's work history touched on the F119 engine used in the F-22 Raptor and the F135 engine used in the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, according to the criminal complaint.

Long, 36, lived in New Haven until recently moving to Ithaca to live with his girlfriend, officials said. He holds Chinese citizenship and is a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

Long, in an interview at Newark Liberty International Airport, where he was connecting to a flight to China, said the documents were publicly available online and provided the links that he used to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who were unable to locate the documents online, the complaint said.

The second company, an out-of-state company referred to as Company B in the criminal complaint, and the U.S. Air Force, which launched the metals consortium, estimate the value of the documents to be as much as $50 million.

Long appeared at federal court in Syracuse on Nov. 8 and Nov. 10, when he was ordered detained until transport to Connecticut. He is charged with transporting goods stolen from the United Technologies Research Center.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation in New Haven led the investigation with the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations unit in New Haven and Newark.

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