Wednesday, September 01, 2010, 9/01/2010 12:02:00 AM

Economic Espionage Unicorn Returns - This Time in Indianapolis

By Todd



It's back. Bloomberg News is reporting that a former Dow AgroSciences LLC researcher was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly stealing trade secrets from the company and relaying them to China. We refer to these charges as the economic espionage unicorn because they are so rare - this indicatment is not just about the theft of trade secrets but with the additional and complicating aspect that the theft was for the benefit of a foreign government.

The indictment against Kexue Huang, also known as John, was announced in an e-mailed statement yesterday by Assistant U.S. Attorney General Lanny Breuer and U.S. Attorney Timothy Morrison of Indianapolis. Huang made his initial court appearance yesterday in Indianapolis, the prosecutors said.

“Economic espionage robs our businesses and investors of hard-earned, protected research and is particularly harmful when the theft of those ideas is meant to benefit a foreign government,” Breuer said in the statement.

Huang, 45, worked for the Indianapolis-based unit of Dow Chemical Co. from 2003 to 2008, researching organically-derived insecticides, work for which he had received Chinese government grant money, according to the U.S.

In December 2008, Huang published Dow AgroSciences trade secrets through China’s Hunan Normal University, disclosing information he had promised Dow he would keep confidential in a written agreement with the company, prosecutors said.

He also allegedly directed university scientists to do research on the Dow insecticides.

Huang faces 12 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets to benefit a foreign government, each punishable by as many as 15 years of imprisonment, and five counts of foreign transportation of stolen property, for which he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years.

He is represented by Indianapolis federal public defender Michael Donahoe, according to Morrison’s spokeswoman, Mary Bippus. Donahoe didn’t immediately reply to a voice-mail message seeking comment.

The case is U.S. v. Huang, 10-CR-102, U.S. District Court, Southern Indiana (Indianapolis).

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