Thursday, January 29, 2009, 1/29/2009 08:33:00 AM

Federal Indictments in Eaton Aerospace-Frisby Trade Secrets Case

From the Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger a story that follows up on our earlier postings (going back to 2006) here, here, here and here concerning the Eaton Aerospace-Frisby trade secrets case.

A third criminal indictment has now been filed against five former Eaton Aerospace engineers on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and possession of trade secrets.

According to the story, the trial of Rodney Case, Kevin Clark, Mike Fulton, Douglas Murphy and James Ward had been set for April 13 on a conspiracy-to-defraud charge. The new indictment, however, may affect that date.

In April 2008, Mississippi federal judge William Barbour Jr. threw out the majority of the charges in the old indictment, saying the charges of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, two counts of theft of trade secrets and two counts of wire fraud were unconstitutionally vague.

He also tossed out two other counts involving theft of trade secrets, saying they were barred by the statute of limitations. The Fifth Circuit denied the government’s appeal.

Not surprisingly, the lawyer for the defendants is contending the new indictment is nothing but an attempted end-run around that earlier ruling.

The Clarion-Ledger states that the five engineers initially were accused of stealing secrets from Mississippi Eaton Aerospace and of taking them to Frisby Aerospace in Clemmons, North Carolina, where they started working in January 2002. (Frisby now is known as Triumph Actuation Systems.)

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