In 1998, after China develops a nuclear warhead with a design strikingly similar to the U.S.'s most advanced nuclear weapon, Department of Energy officials accuse Wen Ho Lee, a Taiwanese-born U.S. scientist at the Los Alamos National Lab, of being a spy.
In 1999, Lee is arrested on 59 charges of espionage and mishandling nuclear information. He spends nine months in solitary confinement until a federal district judge apologizes and releases him, calling the botched investigation a national embarrassment.
After winning a $1.6 million settlement from the federal government and several news organizations for privacy violations, Lee, now 69, is retired in Albuquerque with his wife. He published an applied-physics textbook that he began writing in prison and is now working on a second, according to his daughter, Alberta, who became a civil-rights lawyer as a result of her father's ordeal. She said Lee would like to teach but has not heard back from any institutions where he applied. As for the spy scandal, Alberta tells NEWSWEEK her parents "are over it. They've moved on."