[ISN] Ohio scientist faces 10-year sentence for stealing trade secrets

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Thu Feb 15 2007 - 22:27:58 PST


By Randall Chase
Associated Press
Feb. 15, 2007

DOVER, Del. - A former DuPont Co. senior scientist from Ohio faces up to 
10 years in prison after admitting that he stole trade secrets from the 
company, federal authorities said Thursday.

Gary Min, also known as Yonggang Min, pleaded guilty in November to 
stealing trade secrets, but the case was not unsealed by federal 
prosecutors in Wilmington until Thursday.

Min, 43, of Grove City, Ohio, faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine 
of $250,000. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 29.

U.S. Attorney Colm F. Connolly said Min, a naturalized U.S. citizen from 
China, has surrendered his passport and has agreed to cooperate with 
federal authorities in an ongoing investigation.

Min's attorney, Michael Mustokoff, said his client accepts 
responsibility for what he did.

"He had no concept of the potential harm that he might have caused the 
company," Mustokoff said.

Authorities said the market value of the confidential DuPont technology 
accessed by Min exceeds $400 million. In a civil lawsuit settled last 
year, the company claimed only that its damages exceeded $75,000.

Mustokoff declined to discuss a motive for Min's actions but said he was 
not motivated by money or greed.

A telephone message left at Min's home was not immediately returned 

DuPont officials said they discovered that Min had accessed and 
downloaded thousands of confidential company documents only after he 
submitted his resignation in December 2005 to take a job with Victrex 
plc, a British-based competitor. DuPont immediately notified the FBI and 
Commerce Department.

"The government has informed DuPont that they have not uncovered 
affirmative evidence that Mr. Min disseminated the technology at issue 
to a third party, other than uploading documents to his new employer's 
computer, which were recovered," DuPont senior vice president and 
general counsel Stacey Mobley said in a prepared statement.

On Feb. 14, 2006, authorities searched Min's home and found several 
computers that contained DuPont documents marked "confidential" and a 
program had been started on one computer to erase the hard drive, the 
FBI said in a statement.

Investigators also found garbage bags filled with shredded DuPont 
documents and remains of DuPont documents in the fireplace. Other 
confidential documents were kept in a storage unit and a one-bedroom 

Min joined DuPont's research laboratory in Circleville, Ohio, in 1995 
after completing his doctoral degree in chemistry at the University of 
Pennsylvania under Nobel laureate Alan MacDiarmid, who died last week.

According to court documents, Min worked at a DuPont facility in Taiwan 
from May 2002 to December 2003, and was promoted to a management 
position there. But Min's wife, also a Chinese national, did not want to 
move to Taiwan. When his boss insisted in April 2005 that he move his 
family to Taiwan, Min refused. He was demoted and reassigned to Ohio.

"Min has admitted to the FBI that he resented the demotion and felt 
DuPont had 'betrayed' him," prosecutors said.

Shortly after refusing the DuPont job in Taiwan, Min began talking with 
Victrex, which has facilities in both Taiwan and Shanghai.

A telephone message left at the offices of Victrex USA in West 
Conshohocken, Pa., was not immediately returned Thursday.



DuPont Co.: http://www2.dupont.com
Victrex PLC: http://www.victrex.com
U.S. Attorney for Delaware: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/de

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