A chemical engineer was sentenced on Monday to 14 years in prison in the United States for stealing trade secrets about substances used in cans of soft drinks and other drinks for the benefit of the Chinese government and a Chinese company.
According to the US Department of Justice, a Tennessee federal judge has tried Xiaorong Yu, 59, of Lansing, after a jury in April found her guilty of charges including possession of stolen trade secrets and economic espionage.
Prosecutors say you gained access to secrets about BPA-free can liners while working for Coca-Cola in Atlanta and Eastman Chemicals in Kingsport, Tennessee.
According to the judges, trade secrets cost the major chemical and paint companies nearly $120 million (about 114 million euros).
Prosecutors further say you stole trade secrets to set up a BPA-free paint company in China, and that its Chinese partner, Weihai Jinhong Group, received millions of dollars in grants from the Chinese government to support the new business.
Evidence that you intend to benefit the Government of China, Shandong Province of China, Weihai City of China and the Chinese Communist Party have also been indicated.
The attorneys added that you worked at Coca-Cola as a Global Principal Investigation Engineer from December 2012 to August 2017 and were the Director of Packaging Application Development at Eastman Chemical from September 2017 to June 2018.
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