Dr. You Sentenced To 168 Months For Economic Espionage
A Chinese chemist working in the US has been sentenced to multiple years in prison after stealing trade secrets. In April 2021, following a thirteen-day trial, a federal jury convicted 59 year old Dr. Xiaorong You aka Shannon You of conspiracy to commit trade secret theft , conspiracy to commit economic espionage, possession of stolen trade secrets, economic espionage, and wire fraud. During the trial, prosecutors proved that You stole valuable trade secrets related to formulations for bisphenol-A-free (BPA-free) coatings used on the inside of beverage cans. BPA was used universally to coat the inside of cans and other food and beverage containers to help minimize flavor loss and prevent the container from corroding or reacting with the food or beverage inside. Health issues were found with BPA so several companies developed the BPA-free coating at a cost of $120 million. One of those companies was Eastman Chemical in Kingsport. You was granted access to the trade secrets while working at The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Georgia, and at Eastman Chemical. Evidence at trial showed, that You stole the trade secrets to set up a new BPA-free coating company in China. You and her Chinese corporate partner received millions of dollars in Chinese government grants to support the new company. On Monday a judge at US District Court in Greeneville sentenced Dr. You to 14 years in prison.