- The Washington Times - Friday, November 1, 2019

A U.S. Navy officer with a top security clearance and his wife were among four charged Friday with attempting to smuggle U.S. military equipment to China.

Federal prosecutors in Florida filed a host of charges against Lt. Fan Yang, 34, a Chinese-born U.S. citizen, who is assigned to the Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Weapons School Jacksonville.

Mr. Yang’s wife Yang “Yuki” Yang, and two Chinese businessmen Ge Songtao and Zheng Yan were also indicted.

Prosecutors say all four schemed to purchase military-style inflatable boats from a California-based navy contractor and export the equipment to China while concealing the actual buyer.

The boats were intended for Shanghai Breeze Technology Company, a Chinese-based company, according to court documents. But Ms. Yang concealed the true buyer’s identity by claiming the boats were headed to Hong Kong, prosecutors said.

In September 2018, Ms. Yang emailed a California-based manufacturer of military equipment to purchase the boats, according to court documents. She also requested a quote for specific outboard engines that are marketed solely “for military use,” according to court documents.

Mr. Songtao and Mr. Yan, who are described in the indictment as employees of Shanghai Breeze Technology, helped obscure the buyer through phony shipping addresses and wire transfers, prosecutors said.

The Justice Department also accused Mr. Yang of illegally purchasing a gun on behalf of Mr. Songtao, violating a federal law prohibiting a foreigner with a non-immigrant visa from owning a weapon.

Mr. Yang even went so far as to have Mr. Songato’s initials engraved in the gun.

All four defendants were arrested last month and have been in federal custody for about two weeks, the Justice Department said.

All four are charged with conspiring to submit false export information and fraudulent attempting to export articles from the United States. Ms. Yang, Mr. Songtao and Mr. Yan are charged with causing the submission of false and misleading information to U.S. export authorities.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum of five years in federal prison and the export charges have a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The Yangs and Mr. Songtao are also charged with firearms offenses carrying a maximum of five to 10 years in prison.

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