Josh Harry Isler, a 55-year-old former technical services manager for DuPont, faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 after pleading guilty to theft of fuel-enzyme-related intellectual property and making a false statement to the FBI. Isler, who lives in St. Ansgar, Iowa, admitted that in August 2013 while still a DuPont employee—but after having accepted a job from CTE Global, a competitor in the fuel enzymes business—he transferred hundreds of DuPont’s electronic files to an external device.
Many of the files related not just to DuPont but to the firm’s customers, some of whom were also customers—or potential customers—of CTE Global. Isler later transferred some files to his new employer. Isler is waiting to learn if he must pay DuPont compensation.
The theft of trade secrets has been a recurrent issue for DuPont in recent years. In 2017, the firm charged an employee of 27 years with stealing trade secrets relating to flexographic printing, and in 2014 a former engineer working in DuPont’s titanium dioxide business was convicted of selling trade secrets to a Chinese firm.