Former US Dow employee gets 5 years on trade secrets theft

13 January 2012 18:28  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--A former Dow Chemical research scientist has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for stealing Dow trade secrets and selling them to China, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Friday.

In addition, the department said 75-year-old Wen Chyu Liu, also known as David W Liou, will forfeit $600,000 (€468,000) and pay a $25,000 fine. 

After serving the five-year sentence – there is no parole in federal criminal sentencing – Liou will be subject to two years of supervised release.

Liou, a resident of Houston, Texas, was found guilty in February last year by a federal trial jury in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Under the law, he could have been sentenced to as many as ten years in prison and fines up to $250,000.

He was convicted on one count of theft of trade secrets and on a separate count of perjury.  The perjury charge stemmed from false statements Liou made during a lawsuit deposition about his dealings with China.

According to evidence presented at trial, Liou came to the US from China for graduate studies and stayed on to work for Dow beginning in 1965. He retired in 1992.

While at Dow, the department said, Liou was a research scientist at the company’s Plaquemine, Louisiana, facility, working on the development of and manufacturing processes for Dow’s chlorinated polyethylene (CPE).

According to the department, evidence at trial established that Liou conspired with at least four current and former employees of Dow’s facilities in Plaquemine and Stade, Germany, to misappropriate those CPE trade secrets in an effort to develop and market advanced packaging to various Chinese companies.

Liou also bribed current and former Dow employees for CPE-related information, the DOJ said, and travelled extensively in China to market the stolen technology.

The department has not immediately responded to questions about whether the former or current Dow employees with whom Liou conspired or bribed have been or will be charged.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Joe Kamalick
+1 713 525 2653

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