Monday, November 24, 2008, 11/24/2008 10:52:00 AM

Lubrizol Trade Secrets Thief Gets 19 Months

By Todd
U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver sentenced former Lubrizol employee Dr. Kyung Kim last week to 19 months in prison. We first started following this case in this post:

He also was ordered to pay $188,700, which included the $170,000 in cash that SK Chemicals paid Kim, 63, for the secrets.

It's impossible to quantify the damage to Lubrizol caused by Kim's illegal disclosures. Lubrizol didn't attempt such an estimate in a letter to the judge, but it did ask that Kim be ordered to repay nearly $800,000 in wages and benefits he received from Lubrizol during the time he was spying. Oliver denied the request.

We find Lubrizol's request for all the pay and benefits back interesting - and wonder why the judge didn't grant that request. This kind of clawback is called the disgorgement remedy. It is essentially a remedy that says an employee must disgorge all income and benefits paid/provided while an employee is being disloyal. Perhaps the civil nature of the remedy spooked Judge Oliver - but kudos to Lubrizol's counsel for suggesting the same. This is, in the end, a sad case.

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