Home Milwaukee Press Releases 2013 Foreign Economic Espionage Investigation Leads to Arrest

Foreign Economic Espionage Investigation Leads to Arrest

FBI Milwaukee April 02, 2013
  • Public Affairs Specialist Leonard C. Peace (414) 291-4892

On March 29, 2013, special agents in the Milwaukee Division of the FBI arrested Hua Jun Zhao, age 42. Zhao is charged via a criminal complaint for knowingly engaging in economic espionage benefiting a foreign government, foreign instrumentality, or foreign agent, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1831 (a) (1)(2)(3).

Zhao is alleged to have used his employment and position at the Medical College of Wisconsin to illegally acquire patented cancer research material and to have taken steps to provide that material to Zhejiang University in China. The public is reminded individuals placed under arrest are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The arrest was a direct result of successful outreach by the FBI’s Division’s Strategic Partnership Program. This program focuses on fostering communication and building awareness through partnerships with key public and private entities. The goal of the outreach is to protect United States sensitive information, technologies, and competitiveness in an age of globalization.

“This investigation underscores the importance of the FBI’s outreach to our community partners,” said Teresa L. Carlson, Special Agent in Charge. “The FBI will aggressively pursue those who would attempt to steal trade secrets, proprietary information, or national security information.”

The FBI Milwaukee Division’s Strategic Partnership Program provides businesses and academia the tools to recognize, identify, and report insider threats, theft of trade secrets, and economic espionage. The FBI encourages businesses and academia to contact the Strategic Partnership Coordinator Special Agent Byron Franz at 414-291-4371 for more information on this outreach program or to report suspected threats.