Not guilty plea entered in GE Aviation espionage case

CINCINNATI (AP) — A Chinese national charged with trying to steal trade secrets from multiple U.S. aviation and aerospace companies has pleaded not guilty.

Defendant Yanjun Xu (Yahn-Juhn Joo) was also ordered Friday to be detained before trial over the objections of his attorneys, who say he’s not at risk of fleeing.

Prosecutors allege that beginning in December 2013, Xu recruited experts who worked at aviation companies, including GE Aviation. They say Xu and others would pay stipends for the experts to travel to China under the guise of delivering a university presentation.

Court papers say Xu and other operatives discussed how they would obtain “highly sensitive information” from the experts.

Xu was charged Wednesday with conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage and theft of trade secrets.

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