Lansing chemist convicted of industrial espionage, trade secret theft and cable fraud conspiracy

LANSING, me. (WILX) – A PH.D. The chemist from Lansing, Dr. Xiaorong You, also known as Shannon You, 59, was convicted of stealing valuable trade secrets to start a business in China.

After a twelve-day trial, Dr. You have been convicted of conspiracy to commit industrial espionage, conspiracy to steal trade secrets, possession of stolen trade secrets, industrial espionage and cable fraud.

During the experiment, it was revealed that Dr. You have stolen trade secrets related to formulations for bisphenol-A-free (BPA-free) coatings for the inside of beverage cans. The evidence found in the study showed that Dr. You stole these trade secrets to create a global can coatings manufacturer in China with a Chinese chemical company called Weihai Jinhong Group.

Bisphenol-A (BPA) has been used to coat the inside of cans and other food and drink containers to maintain flavor and prevent the container from corroding or reacting with the food or drink inside. However, BPA can pose health risks, which is why companies looked for BPA-free alternatives.

As witnesses from chemical and coatings companies testified in court, these alternatives were both expensive and time consuming to develop.

Dr. You got access to BPS-free trade secrets while working at the Coca-Cola company in Atlanta, Georgia and the Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, Tennessee. The stolen trade secrets belonged to large chemical and coatings companies such as Akzo-Nobel, BASF, Dow Chemical, PPG, Toyochem, Sherwin Williams and Eastman Chemical. It cost nearly $ 120,000,000 to develop. According to court documents and evidence presented in court, Dr. You stole the trade secrets to start a new BPA-free coating company in China.

The conviction was set for November 1, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. before Mr. J. Ronnie Greer in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Greeneville.

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