Walter Liew, California man, sentenced to 15 years for espionage

A California chemical engineer has been sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined $28 million after his rare economic-espionage conviction for selling China the technology that creates a white pigment.

A federal judge on Thursday ruled that Walter Liew's theft of DuPont Co.'s secret recipe for making cars, paper and a long list of everyday items whiter warranted the lengthy prison sentence.

U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White said Liew had turned against his adopted country over greed.

A jury convicted the 56-year-old Liew of receiving $28 million from companies controlled by the Chinese government in exchange for DuPont's technology.

Liew acquired the technology by hiring retired DuPont engineers and paying them for their knowledge and sensitive documents they took when they left the company.