DETROIT, MI: July 22th, 2010: Two Michigan individuals were charged with “conspiracy to possess trade secrets without authorization, unauthorized possession of trade secrets, and wire fraud” according to a federal indictment unsealed by the FBI.
The indictment spanned the time period from December 2003 to May 2006 and details how the defendants “conspired to possess trade secret information of General Motors Company relating to hybrid vehicles, knowing that the information had been stolen, converted, or obtained without authorization.”
Because of keen computer forensic investigation, the indictment was able to allege that one defendant, Shanshan Du, provided trade secret information to her husband, Yu Qin, during her employment at GM. The information was used for his benefit, as well as for the benefit of MTI, Inc., a company that the couple owned and operated. After GM offered Du a severance agreement, she “copied thousands of GM documents, including trade secret documents, to an external computer hard drive used for MTI business.”
Not long after, Qin began to provide hybrid vehicle technology to Chery Automobile in China, a company that also happens to be one of GM’s competitors. It is also alleged that Qin and Du “possessed GM trade secret information without authorization on several computer and electronic devices located in their residence”
Download a PDF of the full Department of Justice Press Release gm_tradesecrets.
Visit the FBI Detroit Division Website to learn more.
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