Judge gives major break in GM theft case

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By ED WHITE, Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit federal judge has given a major sentencing break to a former General Motors engineer and her husband who were convicted of stealing hybrid technology from the automaker.

Shanshan Du was sentenced to a year and a day in prison Wednesday. Her husband, Yu Qin (chin), was ordered to spend three years behind bars.

Federal guidelines called for a minimum sentence of 6½ years, but those guidelines aren't mandatory.

Du copied thousands of GM documents before leaving the company in 2005. The U.S. government says the couple were trying to strike a deal with a competitor in China before the FBI intervened.

The couple expressed remorse. Judge Marianne Battani says the crimes are serious, but she also noted Du's health problems and the seven-year length of the case.

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