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Indiana Scientist Ordered Detained on Charges of Economic Espionage

In Breaking News, Economic Espionage on September 1, 2010 at 2:47 am
Pyroxsulam: novel herbicide (Dow AgroSciences)
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AP reports that a former Indiana scientist accused of illegally sending trade secrets worth $300 million to China and Germany was ordered detained Tuesday on charges of economic espionage.  A federal indictment unsealed in Indianapolis alleges that Kexue Huang, who was born in China, passed on proprietary information about the development of organic pesticides to Hunan Normal University while he worked as a researcher for Dow AgroSciences in Indiana from 2003 to 2008.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Ridgeway said Huang, a Canadian citizen with permanent U.S. resident status, used a “patient and calculated” plan to “drain” the Indianapolis-based company of technology that took 20 years to develop.

Defense attorney Michael Donahoe labeled the alleged scheme “hypothetical” and said Huang maintained his innocence.

The indictment charged Huang with 12 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets to benefit a foreign government under the Economic Espionage Act. Huang was also also charged with five counts of foreign transportation of stolen property. The economic espionage charges are each punishable by up to 15 years in prison while the lesser counts could each land him in prison for 10 years.

Ridgeway said the Department of Justice has only filed economic espionage charges seven times, with two cases tried last year, with one ending in a conviction and the other with a deadlocked jury.

By CHARLES JUNG

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