Kris Alingod – AHN News Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (AHN) – A former research scientist for Dow AgroSciences has been indicted on 17 counts of stealing trade secrets and transporting stolen property to China.
Kexue “John” Huang, 45, appeared in court Tuesday for the first time since his arrest in July. He pleaded not guilty.
A Chinese national with legal permanent residency status in the United States, Huang worked for Indianapolis-based Dow from 2003 and 2008.
He is suspected of conducting research in China a year before he left Dow, using the company’s proprietary information. He is believed to have directed researchers associated with Hunan Normal University in China to develop products based on Dow trade secrets.
Huang also allegedly sought out manufacturing facilities in China so he and others could develop agrochemical and biotechnology products to compete with those made by Dow.
In 2008, he published an article through the university containing confidential trade information without Dow’s authorization, according to prosecutors. When he left the company in March of the same year, Huang sought and received grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China to develop Dow trade secrets.
According to the Justice Department, Dow has been investing in research of a type of organic pesticide that requires a confidential fermentation process for production.
Huang faces up to 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for each of the 12 economic espionage charges against him. He faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the five counts of transportation of stolen property.