Chinese National Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison for Conspiring to Illegally Export Military and Space Grade Technology from the United States to China

Tao Li, a Chinese National, was sentenced to 40 months in prison and 3 years supervised release for attempting to export sensitive technology to China.

He could have faced 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Presumably he will be deported after completing his sentence.

Only 40 months?

Interestingly, the sentencing guidelines in this case only called for 15 to 21 months, so the Judge actually departed significantly upwards, almost double the maximum under the guidelines. The upward departure was clearly warranted.

Actually, strike that.

Sentencing guidelines call for 63 to 78 months. (5 years 3 months to 6 years 6 months).

Trouble is, a lot of necessary information is missing.

  1. The indictment.
  2. Whether he went to trial or pled out.
  3. What the prosecution asked for and what the defense asked for.

If it was a plea deal, that might explain the downward departure.