Engineer Yi-Chi Shih Faces Prison for Smuggling US Military Chips to China

Generic image of a CPU

Yi-Chi Shih, a part-time Los Angeles resident and electrical engineer, faces up to 219 years in prison for smuggling U.S. military chips to China.

Yi-Chi Shih Smuggling Chips

Prosecutors say that Mr. Shih, along with co-defendant Kiet Ahn Mai, tried to gain access to an unknown U.S. company’s systems which manufactured chips and Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMICs). Mr Mai posed as a potential customer.

After Mr. Shih obtained the chips he sent them to Chengdu GaStone Technology Company (CGTC), a Chinese firm building an MMIC manufacturing plant. United States Attorney Nick Hanna said:

This defendant schemed to export to China semiconductors with military and civilian uses, then he lied about it to federal authorities and failed to report income generated by the scheme on his tax returns. My office will enforce laws that protect our nation’s intellectual property from being used to benefit foreign adversaries who may compromise our national security.

MMICs are used in missiles, missile guidance systems, fighter jets, electronic warfare, electronic warfare countermeasures and radar applications.

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