A Lansing chemist has been found guilty of conspiracy to steal trade secrets, economic espionage, and wire fraud.
59-year-old Dr. Xiaorong You was convicted by a federal jury in Greenville, Tennessee after a 12-day trial. The U.S. Department of Justice says You had stolen valuable trade secrets related to bisphenol-A-free (BPA-free) coatings for the inside of beverage cans. Beverage companies are looking for BPA-free alternatives to avoid potential health risks.
You worked for both Coca-Cola and Eastman Chemical Company at the time.
Those secrets belonged to several companies, including Michigan-based Dow Chemical, and cost $120-million dollars to develop.
Court documents indicate that You planned to use the secrets to set up a new company in China. The Chinese government gave You and a partner millions of dollars to support the effort.
Sentencing is scheduled for November 1st.