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Judge gives major break in GM theft case

Thursday - 5/2/2013, 3:16am  ET

FILE - This combination of July 22, 2010 file photos provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows Yu Qin, left, and his wife, Shanshan Du, who who were convicted of stealing hybrid technology from General Motors. Shanshan Du, a former GM engineer, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison Wednesday, May 1, 2013, in Detroit. Her husband, Yu Qin (chin), was ordered to spend three years behind bars. (AP Photo/U.S. Marshals Service, File)

Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- A former General Motors engineer convicted of stealing thousands of pages of hybrid technology was sentenced Wednesday to just a year and a day in prison, far below the punishment sought by the government in a case that involved her husband and an alleged scheme to take the trade secrets to China.

Shanshan Du's right arm and right leg shook as she tearfully expressed remorse. U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani said economic espionage is a serious crime, but she also noted Du's health problems and the seven years from FBI raid to trial and sentence.

"I don't think the public needs to be protected from you, but it needs to be protected from others like you," the judge told Du.

Federal guidelines called for a minimum sentence of 6
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