A Chinese-born immigrant living in the Chicago suburbs has been accused of selling state secrets to China on a recent business trip.
Sixing Liu, who goes by Steve, lived in north suburban Deerfield but had been working for a technology company in New Jersey until his arrest last week. One of his three children attends nearby Northwestern University, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
His company was reportedly contracted by the U.S. Department of Defense to develop navigation devices, the Associated Press reports.
The Sun-Times goes on to describe the circumstances that led to his arrest:
Liu attended the International Workshop on Innovation and Commercialization of Micro & Nanotechnology, which took place over the dates that Liu traveled to China, [attorney James] Tunick said.
When he returned to the United States, he was detained at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, and authorities searched his laptop.
They allegedly found photos of military weapons systems, hundreds of sensitive documents from the company, as well as “internal communications, analyses, data, test results, schematics, images and security protocols,” charging papers say.
Liu is set to appear at a detention hearing on Tuesday before a federal judge. He faces charges of exporting defense-related material without a license. But Tunick, his lawyer, said that Liu simply had work documents on his laptop because he was finishing work projects while traveling.
“He’s as American as a summer baseball game,” Tunick said, according to a separate AP report.