SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Xiadong Sheldong Meng, a software engineer from China who lives in California, was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $10,000 for selling a real-world motion simulator for military training purposes to the People’s Republic of China.
The conviction is the first involving military source code under the Arms Export Control Act and the second under the Economic Espionage Act for misappropriating a trade secret with the intent to benefit a foreign government.
Meng stole the trade secret, known as “Mantis 1.5.5,” from his former employer Quantum3D Inc. and used it in a sales pitch for his new employer, Orad Hi-TechSystems LTD, a direct competitor of Quantum3D Inc. Meng also knowingly exported to China a defense article on the U.S. Munitions List without authorization. The product, vixSen, is a visual simulation software program used to train military fighter pilots who use night-vision equipment, including thermal imaging.
The federal investigation established that Meng had stolen an additional defense article, at least six source code trade secrets and more than 100 materials and utilities belonging to Quantum3D, many of which were intended for military purposes.
Meng was also helping two air forces in Southeast Asia get and use visual simulation equipment. Investigators found copies of two F-16 Full Mission Simulator proposals on Meng’s laptop, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.