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A California man was sentenced on Thursday to 15 years in prison and fined $28 million for economic espionage.
Walter Liew was convicted of selling corporate secrets, including a recipe developed by DuPont Co. that creates white pigment for products, the Los Angeles Times reports, for which he was paid $28 million.
The 56-year-old had "turned against his adopted country over greed," U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said. The companies sold the secrets are controlled by the Chinese government.
Only about $22 million was traceable, but the judge said, "We'll never get it." He added, "It has been spirited out of the country."
According to The Associated Press, Liew managed to secure what he needed from DuPont by paying former engineers for any knowledge they had about products or documents they kept when retiring.
Two of the engineers have been convicted, while a third agreed to sign a plea bargain but committed suicide that day.
"There are many things I would have liked to have done differently," Liew said as he apologized in the courtroom. "I regret my actions."
Christina Liew, his wife, currently faces several charges, including obstruction of justice, to which she has pleaded not guilty.