September 15, The Associated Press – (International)
Ind. scientist agrees to plead guilty to stealing secrets from Dow, sending to China, Germany.
A former Indiana scientist has agreed to plead guilty to charges of illegally sending trade secrets worth $300 million to China and Germany. A federal judge September 15 scheduled a plea hearing for October 18. The suspect could face up to 15 years in prison. He agreed to plead guilty to one count of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets to benefit a foreign government and instrumentality in a document filed last month. In the plea agreement, the 46-year-old, who was born in China, admitted he passed on proprietary information about the development of organic pesticides while he worked as a researcher for Dow AgroSciences in Indiana. According to the plea agreement, he passed along trade secrets — including biological materials — to a person at Hunan Normal University in China. That person allegedly later went to the Technical University in Dresden, Germany. Dow Agrosciences is a subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co. The suspect is a Canadian citizen with permanent U.S. resident status. He was indicted in June 2010 but it was kept secret until August 2010. The indictment charged him with 12 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets to benefit a foreign government and instrumentality under the Economic Espionage Act. He also was charged with five counts of foreign transportation of stolen property. The Economic Espionage Act was passed in 1996 after the United States realized China and other countries were targeting private businesses as part of their spy strategies. Officials said the Department of Justice has only filed economic espionage charges seven times.