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Feds: Chinese national stole $1B in trade secrets from Okla. company

Posted: 3:55 PM, Dec 21, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-21 17:00:07-05
Justice Dept Finds FBI Abuse Of Patriot Act Provision

Federal authorities on Wednesday arrested a Chinese national in Oklahoma for theft of trade secrets, a news release says.

The U.S. Department of Justice says an FBI investigation found that Hongjin Tan, 35, a legal U.S. resident, stole trade secrets from his employer, a U.S. petroleum company. Prosecutors say Tan was going to give the information to a Chinese company where he was offered employment.

“The United States filed a criminal complaint against a Chinese national alleging the theft of intellectual property from a company with significant operations in Oklahoma,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said in a statement. “The value of the trade secrets in this case is estimated to be more than $1 billion. Theft of critical research, development, and other intellectual property harms the economic prosperity and security of the United States.”

The U.S. Department of Justice says an FBI investigation fount that Hongjin Tan, 35, a legal U.S. resident, stole trade secrets from his employer, a U.S. petroleum company. Prosecutors say Tan was going to use the information to benefit a Chinese company where he was offered employment.

Tan, who has been living in the U.S. for the past 12 years, made an initial appearance Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jodi F. Jayne. A preliminary and detention hearing has been set for Dec. 26.
“The United States filed a criminal complaint against a Chinese national alleging the theft of intellectual property from a company with significant operations in Oklahoma,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said in a statement. “The value of the trade secrets in this case is estimated to be more than $1 billion. Theft of critical research, development, and other intellectual property harms the economic prosperity and security of the United States.”

"The theft of intellectual property harms American companies and American workers,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said. “As our recent cases show, all too often these thefts involve the Chinese government or Chinese companies. The Department recently launched an initiative to protect our economy from such illegal practices emanating from China, and we continue to make this a top priority."
Tan, who has been living in the U.S. for the past 12 years, made an initial appearance Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jodi F. Jayne. A preliminary and detention hearing has been set for Dec. 26.

The DOJ says Tan stole the trade secrets regarding the manufacture of a “research and development downstream energy market product” and downloaded hundreds of files related to the product, which he planned to use to benefit his new Chinese employer.

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