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Pair Are Indicted in Chinese Spy Case

Times Staff Writer

A mother and son were indicted Wednesday on counts of lying to federal investigators and of working as agents of the Chinese government.

Fuk Heung Li, 48, and her son, Billy Yui Mak, 26, both of Alhambra, were charged by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana. Mak was arrested without incident and will appear in court today.

Li, who was previously indicted on federal marriage fraud charges, was issued a summons to appear for arraignment July 3.

Tai Mak, Billy Mak’s father and Li’s husband, was charged in November with failing to register as an agent of China. Tai Mak, 56, was jailed without bail and is awaiting trial.

Chi Mak, Tai Mak’s brother, also was indicted in 2005 on charges of failing to register as an agent of the Chinese government, as was Chi Mak’s wife, Rebecca Laiwah Chiu. Chi Mak, 66, is being held without bond and awaiting trial. Chiu, 62, is free on bail and awaiting trial.

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All of the defendants except Billy Mak originally were charged with multiple counts of conspiring to steal classified U.S. military secrets for China. Federal prosecutors alleged that Chi Mak was working with Chinese officials to steal military technology about U.S. naval research involving nuclear-powered submarines.

Those charges were dropped when prosecutors revealed that most of the information they were accused of stealing was publicly available.

All five defendants are originally from China. Chi Mak, a U.S. citizen, worked as an engineer at Paragon Power in Anaheim. The company was developing a quiet electric-drive propulsion system for U.S. submarines. Prosecutors said he transferred information about the system to his home computer.

Li’s attorney could not be reached for comment.


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