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Schaumburg woman indicted in alleged international corporate espionage scheme

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Hanjuan Jin, a former software engineer for a suburban Chicago telecommunications firm identified as “Company A” for security reasons, has been indicted on charges of stealing business trade secrets and attempting to take them to China.

Jin, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in China, began working for the company in 1998. She took a medical leave of absence in February 2006. Between June and November 2006, Jin negotiated and accepted a job in China with “Company B,” where she would work on developing communications software.

After accepting the job in China, Jin, of Schaumburg, advised Company A on Feb. 23, 2007, that she was ready to return to work from her leave of absence.

On Feb. 24, Jin purchased a one-way plane ticket to China and was scheduled to depart four days later. On Feb. 26, Jin returned to her job, purportedly to resume full-time work.

She went to work all right, allegedly downloading 200 technical documents on the company’s secure internal computer network. The indictment says she returned later that night to collect more material.

Jin e-mailed a resignation to her manager the following day, but allegedly returned again that evening to snare even more documents.

Federal authorities arrested Jin the next day at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport as she prepared to board her flight to China, allegedly carrying more than 1,000 electronic and paper documents. She faces three federal counts of attempting to sell trade secrets.

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