Legal

Ex-Ford Engineer Charged With Stealing Trade Secrets

By Staff Report

Oct. 16, 2009


A former Ford Motor Co. engineer has been charged with stealing trade secrets from the automaker after accepting a job in China in 2006.


Xiang Dong Yu, 47, was arrested Wednesday, October 14, at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago after traveling to the U.S. from China.


A federal indictment charges Yu, a Chinese national living in Beijing, with theft of trade secrets, attempted theft of trade secrets and unauthorized access to a protected computer, Terrence Berg, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, said Thursday, October 15, in a statement.


Yu was a Ford product engineer from 1997 to 2007. In December 2006, he accepted a job at the China branch of a U.S. company, according to a Justice Department release announcing the charges.


The indictment, filed under court seal July 8, follows an investigation by the FBI. The indictment alleges that Yu copied 4,000 Ford documents, including sensitive design documents, onto an external hard drive after accepting his new job but before notifying Ford of his departure.


”We are aware of the issue and cooperating fully with authorities,” Ford spokesman Mark Truby said in an e-mail.


According to the Justice Department, the documents included design specifications for engine and transmission mounting subsystems, electrical distribution systems and electrical subsystems. The indictment alleges that Yu also tried to use Ford documents to get a job with a Chinese auto company in 2005 and again in 2008.


Yu continues to be held in Chicago and will have a detention hearing Tuesday, October 20, the Justice Department said.


The detention hearing will determine whether he is detained or is allowed to be released under certain conditions, Berg said in an e-mail to Automotive News, a sister publication of Workforce Management.


Yu has not yet been formally arraigned and has not yet entered a plea.


Each of the counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, the Justice Department statement said. The count charging unauthorized access to a protected computer carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the statement said.



Filed by Amy Wilson of Automotive News, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.


Stay informed and connected. Get human resources news and HR features via Workforce Management’s Twitter feed or RSS feeds for mobile devices and news readers.

What’s New at Workforce.com?

blog workforce

Come see what we’re building in the world of predictive employee scheduling, superior labor insights and next-gen employee apps. We’re on a mission to automate workforce management for hourly employees and bring productivity, optimization and engagement to the frontline.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

Compliance

Minimum Wage by State in 2023 – All You Need to Know

Summary Twenty-three states and D.C. raised their minimum wage rates in 2023, effective January 1.  Thr...

federal law, minimum wage, pay rates, state law, wage law compliance

workforce blog

Legal

New Labor Laws Taking Effect in 2023

The new year is fast approaching, and with its arrival comes a host of new labor laws that will impact ...

labor laws, minimum wage, wage and hour law

workforce blog

Legal

Wage and Hour Laws in 2022: What Employers Need to Know

Whether a mom-and-pop shop with a handful of employees or a large corporation staffing thousands, compl...

compliance, wage and hour law