'Industrial Sabotage': Former Army Pilot Sentenced For Spying For China

 Authored by Andrew Thornebrooke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A former U.S. Army helicopter pilot was sentenced to 20 months in prison this week for spying on behalf of China’s communist regime.

The crest of the Department of Justice at its headquarters in Washington on May 10, 2021.
The crest of the Department of Justice at its headquarters in Washington on May 10, 2021. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

Shapour Moinian was sentenced on Nov. 7 for his part in accepting thousands of dollars from representatives of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in exchange for providing the regime with classified aviation-related information taken from his defense contractors who employed him.

This was industrial espionage, bordering on military espionage. … These were extremely serious offenses against the United States,” said Judge Jeffrey Miller at the sentencing.

Moinian served in the U.S. Army from 1977 to 2000, according to a Justice Department statement on the sentencing. After his service, he worked for various cleared defense contractors in the United States as well as the Department of Defense itself. “Cleared” means that the contractors were permitted to work on projects involving classified information.

A man in China who claimed to be a technical recruiter reached out to Moinian in 2017. The man offered Moinian a job consulting for China’s aviation industry and expressed interest in Moinian’s work on classified aviation projects for the U.S. military and intelligence agencies.

Moinian traveled to Hong Kong to meet with the man, where he agreed to provide information and materials related to multiple aircraft types, either designed or manufactured in the United States. He received between $7,000 and $10,000 in exchange for the information, as well as a cell phone and instructions on how to communicate with his new contacts in China.

A People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force WZ-7 high-altitude reconnaissance drone is seen a day before the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, southern China’s Guangdong Province, on Sept. 27, 2021.
A People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force WZ-7 high-altitude reconnaissance drone is seen a day before the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, southern China’s Guangdong Province, on Sept. 27, 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)

According to his plea agreement, Moinian knew that the individuals at that meeting and all subsequent meetings were, in fact, directly employed by the CCP or otherwise directed by CCP authorities.

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