Lansing chemist convicted of US $ 120 million trade secret theft
LANSING, Michigan – A Lansing chemist was convicted Thursday of conspiracy to steal trade secrets, industrial espionage and cable fraud, according to the US Department of Justice.
Xiaorong You, who also passed away from Shannon You, was convicted of stealing trade secrets from Coca-Cola and Eastman Chemical Co. while she was an employee there, according to the department.
They stole trade secrets about BPA-free coatings for the inside of beverage cans and thus founded their own company in China.
It cost nearly $ 120 million to develop the secrets.
According to a press release, you and your Chinese business partner, the Weihai Jinhong Group, have received millions in government grants in China for the new company.
BPA is used to coat the inside of cans and containers to minimize flavor loss and prevent the container from reacting with the substance inside. When potential health risks from BPA became known, companies developed BPA-free alternatives in what the press release said was “a very expensive and time-consuming process”.
You worked at Coca-Cola as Principal Engineer for Global Research from December 2012 to August 2017 and at Eastman Chemical Co. from September 2017 to June 2018. She was one of the few employees who had access to both companies’ BPA-free trade secrets.
She is due to be sentenced in November.
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