A former senior engineer at Coca-Cola was indicted Thursday in Tennessee for stealing trade secrets worth an estimated $120 million to give to a Chinese company, the Justice Department announced.
US national You Xiaorong allegedly stole technology for valuable BPA-free packaging jointly owned by several companies, including a former “Atlanta-based” employer that was unnamed in the indictment.
A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola, whose headquarters is in Atlanta, declined to comment on the case but confirmed that You previously worked for the company.
“Because this is a pending legal matter, it would not be appropriate for us to comment further,” she said.
According to the indictment, You conspired with Chinese national Liu Xiangchen and an unnamed relative of Liu to steal formulations for food packing coatings that are free of the widely-used bisphenol-A chemical, which scientists have discovered in recent years is harmful to human health.
Alternatives to BPA are scarce and highly valuable in the food packing industry.
Liu wanted the technology for his company, which was planning to develop production lines for BPA-free packing, according to the indictment.
In exchange, he offered You a job and also promised to help her win one of China’s highest awards for research and innovation, the “Thousand Talents” award.
The prestigious prize honors Chinese who return from study and work abroad bringing back with them technology that will advance China’s economy.
US intelligence officials say the program also aims to encourage Chinese abroad to steal technology to bring to China.
You “is accused of an egregious, premeditated theft and transfer of trade secrets worth more than $100 million for the purpose of setting up a Chinese company that would compete with the American companies from which the trade secrets were stolen,” said J. Douglas Overbey, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
“Unfortunately, China continues to use its national programs, like the ‘Thousand Talents,’ to solicit and reward the theft of our nation’s trade secrets and intellectual property.”
GOP pollster gets hilariously destroyed after blaming a broken elevator in his European hotel on ‘socialism’
Republican pollster Frank Luntz drew hackles from across the internet on Tuesday after he blamed a broken elevator at a hotel in Austria on "socialism."
Writing on Twitter, Luntz complained that the elevator at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna, Austria has not been functioning for three straight days -- and said that the European social welfare state was responsible for this purportedly dire situation.
"Please don’t bring European-style socialism to America," Luntz pleaded.
I’m at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna, Austria. Almost 200 rooms… But the elevator has been broken for 3 days.
Columnists bid a brutal farewell to ‘sneering’ Sarah Sanders: Her awfulness was a thing to behold
On Tuesday, New York Times columnists Gail Collins and Bret Stephens discussed the departure of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who they agreed was one of the worst press secretaries in modern times.
"She brought us back to the bad old days when women were supposed to be seen and not heard, but lately she wasn't seen all that much either," said Collins. "Who would want to go down in history as the press secretary who got rid of the press briefing?"
‘Nightcrawlers and toadyism’: Trump’s remaining staffers ridiculed for hanging on while others flee off-the-rails president
In a caustic piece for the New York Daily News, columnist Richard Cohen mocked the few remaining staffers who have stood by Donald Trump's side since he became president saying they obviously lack anywhere else to go and have apparently have no self-respect.
Or as he put it: "Whatever happened to pride?"
"I ask because reports regularly surface about Donald Trump berating or insulting someone, often an aide, who just takes it," Cohen wrote. "A recent example comes from Michael Wolff’s new book 'Siege,' in which Paul Manafort, once Trump’s campaign chairman but now domiciled in stir, was vulgarly upbraided by the president: 'You’re terrible, you can’t defend me.' Trump allegedly called him a 'lazy f---' and asked 'Am I a f---ing baby?' in a train wreck of a verbal assault."