Friday, May 13, 2022

Chemist sentenced to 14 years in prison for trade secret theft

More on the Shannon You case (from a Department of Justice press release): 

Chemist Sentenced for Stealing Trade Secrets, Economic Espionage and Wire Fraud

A federal judge in Greeneville, Tennessee, sentenced a Michigan woman today to 168 months, the equivalent of 14 years, in prison for a scheme to steal trade secrets, engage in economic espionage and commit fraud. The defendant was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay a $200,000 fine.

In April 2021, following a 13-day jury trial, Xiaorong You, aka Shannon You, 59, of Lansing, Michigan, was convicted of conspiracy to commit trade secret theft, conspiracy to commit economic espionage, possession of stolen trade secrets, economic espionage and wire fraud.

“As the evidence at trial showed, the defendant stole valuable trade secrets and intended to use them to benefit not only a foreign company, but also the government of China,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “Today’s sentence reflects the seriousness of this offense, as well as the Department of Justice’s commitment to protect our nation’s security by investigating and prosecuting those who steal U.S. companies’ intellectual property.”

As someone who has seen and helped sign a great number of NDAs, I've rarely contemplated what I could do with the information that was to be protected, other than my job. I imagine that if I thought about it, I could come up with a case or two where I might have thought "I could buy some stock and make money from this"*. I simply cannot imagine a case where I would have thought "I'm going to take this information, give it to my own company and get investors." 

Here's hoping this case is the last one, but it won't be, sigh. 

*As a rule, I don't buy individual stock. 

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looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20