A federal judge in Tennessee sentenced an engineer to 14 years in prison for stealing trade secrets from Coca-Cola.
Xiaorong You, also known as Shannon You, must also pay a $200,000 fine.
A jury convicted her in April of stealing trade secrets, economic espionage and fraud following a 13 day trial.
“When companies invest huge amounts of time and money to develop world-class technologies, only to have those technologies stolen, the results are devastating,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Here, the defendant intended not only to enrich herself and her China-based partners, but also the government of China.”
Court documents reveal You stole technology to produce bisphenol-A-free (BPA-free) coatings for the inside of beverage cans. Some have linked BPA to cancer.
She gained access to the secrets while working for The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, and Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, Tennessee.
“Stealing technology isn’t just a crime against a company,” said Acting Assistant Director Bradley S. Benavides of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. “It’s a crime against American workers whose jobs and livelihoods are impacted.”
Prosecutors say You stole the trade secrets to set up a new BPA-free coating company in China. The Chinese government gave her grants to support the new company. She was one of the few Coca-Cola employees with access to the BPA-free trade secrets.
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So, She took ‘technology to produce bisphenol-A-free (BPA-free) coatings for the inside of beverage cans. Some have linked BPA to cancer.’ BPA May cause cancer. Coke should have shared the Technology because this is a harmful substance.