...Anchi Hou, 61, who worked at DuPont for 27 years, is accused of downloading more than 20,000 files on DuPont’s flexographic printing plate technology in the months prior to his retirement at the end of 2016. If convicted, Hou could receive a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and pay a fine of up to $250,000.
According to a Federal Bureau of Investigation complaint filed against him in the U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J., Hou worked in DuPont’s advanced printing division in Parlin, N.J., and was involved in the development of photo-polymeric plates used in printing presses. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from National Taiwan University and a Ph.D. from Penn State University.
Four days after forming a flexographic printing consultancy in November 2016, Hou told DuPont he planned to retire at the end of the year. In December, Hou was discovered taking photos of equipment in the Parlin facility. The firm then checked computer records and discovered that Hou had been downloading proprietary documents since July.
DuPont filed a civil complaint last month suggesting that Hou had visited printing firms in Taiwan in July 2016 with an eye to selling them proprietary information. The FBI arrested Hou on April 7 after learning that he and his family had booked airline flights to leave the U.S.Of the four reasons that people perform espionage (Money, Ideology, Compromise and Ego), it looks like Dr. Hou was after Money.
(I wonder what was the actual criminal act? Surely it's not illegal to become a consultant and to use the knowledge gained from your employer, but it is probably illegal to take documents containing trade secrets from your employer. Are the pictures illegal?)