Calif. couple charged in export conspiracy case

A Southern California couple were charged with conspiracy and lying to authorities about exporting restricted electronics to China without the proper licenses, federal prosecutors said Friday.

York Yuan Chang, a U.S. citizen, and his wife Leping Huang, a Chinese national, were arrested earlier this week at their home in Diamond Bar. Both were charged with one count of export conspiracy, which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. They also each face charges of making false statements.

Huang, 49, was released Thursday after posting part of a $1 million bond. Chang, 53, was being held without bail. They are both scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 1.

U.S. customs officials say they found computer files and documents they believe show an illegal transfer of technology from the couple's company that has both commercial and military applications. Prosecutors said the technology, analog-to-digital converters, is subject to controls for national security purposes and can't be exported from the U.S. to China without a valid license.

Chang's attorney, Jan Handzlik, said his client never intended to ship the converters overseas. Rather, Chang intended to develop a faster and smaller version of the technology and sell it in the U.S., Handzlik said.

A phone message left for Huang's attorney, Paul Meltzer, was not immediately returned.