A former and longtime employee at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland has been charged with illegally exporting infrared military technology to South Korea, though he is not accused of taking technology or related materials from the research center, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Kue Sang Chun, 66, of Avon Lake, Ohio, has been charged with one count of exporting defense articles on the U.S. Munitions List without first obtaining an export license or written authorization from the U.S. Department of State, and one count of knowingly making and subscribing a false individual income tax return.
According to the DOJ, between March 2000 and November 2005, Chun knowingly exported Infra Red Focal Plane Array (FPA) detectors and Infra Red camera engines which were designated as defense articles on the U.S. Munitions List from the United States to South Korea without first obtaining an export license or written authorization from the State Department.
FPA imaging devices are used in missile guidance sensors, infrared astronomy, manufacturing inspection, and thermal imaging. Infra Red camera engine is the hardware which converts heat energy to light energy in the form of thermal images.
Chun received about $200,000 in exchange for the technology, according to Mike Tobin, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Another count charges Chun, with knowingly making and subscribing a false U.S. individual income tax return for the year 2005, which failed to report approximately $83,399.08 of taxable income he earned during that period.
This defendant is charged with violating important regulations designed to protect national security, said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. He did it for money and, according to the charges, he intentionally failed to pay taxes on the money he made from his crimes.
The FBI and the Department of Justice are committed to the protection of U.S. Defense technology, particularly that which is governed by the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations, said Steven Anthony, special agent in charge of the FBI's Cleveland office.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Chun's attorney John McCaffrey said his client is cooperating with the investigation.