A U.S. judge has sentenced a Chinese national to more than five years in prison for illegally exporting sensitive defense-related information to China.
Liu Sixing was convicted in a federal court last year on charges including exporting technical military data without a license and lying to authorities.
The 49-year-old, also known as Steve Liu, was a senior staff engineer for a division of the New Jersey-based L-3 Communications
, which was working on guidance systems for missiles, rockets and drones.
Prosecutors say he stole thousands of restricted military files and shared them during several presentations in China in 2009 and 2010, including one at a Chinese government-organized technology conference.
Liu says he was only trying to use the presentations to get a job in China. He argued that the case against him was politically motivated.
The presiding judge disagreed. In addition to the jail sentence, Liu was ordered to pay a $15,000 fine.
Liu, who has lived in the U.S. for 19 years, has been in custody since the verdict in September. Prosecutors said he was a risk to flee the country. His attorney says he plans to appeal the verdict and sentence.