By Randall Chase
Feb. 15, 2007
DOVER, Del. - A former DuPont Co. senior scientist from Ohio faces up to
10 years in prison after admitting that he stole trade secrets from the
company, federal authorities said Thursday.
Gary Min, also known as Yonggang Min, pleaded guilty in November to
stealing trade secrets, but the case was not unsealed by federal
prosecutors in Wilmington until Thursday.
Min, 43, of Grove City, Ohio, faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine
of $250,000. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 29.
U.S. Attorney Colm F. Connolly said Min, a naturalized U.S. citizen from
China, has surrendered his passport and has agreed to cooperate with
federal authorities in an ongoing investigation.
Min's attorney, Michael Mustokoff, said his client accepts
responsibility for what he did.
"He had no concept of the potential harm that he might have caused the
company," Mustokoff said.
Authorities said the market value of the confidential DuPont technology
accessed by Min exceeds $400 million. In a civil lawsuit settled last
year, the company claimed only that its damages exceeded $75,000.
Mustokoff declined to discuss a motive for Min's actions but said he was
not motivated by money or greed.
A telephone message left at Min's home was not immediately returned
DuPont officials said they discovered that Min had accessed and
downloaded thousands of confidential company documents only after he
submitted his resignation in December 2005 to take a job with Victrex
plc, a British-based competitor. DuPont immediately notified the FBI and
"The government has informed DuPont that they have not uncovered
affirmative evidence that Mr. Min disseminated the technology at issue
to a third party, other than uploading documents to his new employer's
computer, which were recovered," DuPont senior vice president and
general counsel Stacey Mobley said in a prepared statement.
On Feb. 14, 2006, authorities searched Min's home and found several
computers that contained DuPont documents marked "confidential" and a
program had been started on one computer to erase the hard drive, the
FBI said in a statement.
Investigators also found garbage bags filled with shredded DuPont
documents and remains of DuPont documents in the fireplace. Other
confidential documents were kept in a storage unit and a one-bedroom
Min joined DuPont's research laboratory in Circleville, Ohio, in 1995
after completing his doctoral degree in chemistry at the University of
Pennsylvania under Nobel laureate Alan MacDiarmid, who died last week.
According to court documents, Min worked at a DuPont facility in Taiwan
from May 2002 to December 2003, and was promoted to a management
position there. But Min's wife, also a Chinese national, did not want to
move to Taiwan. When his boss insisted in April 2005 that he move his
family to Taiwan, Min refused. He was demoted and reassigned to Ohio.
"Min has admitted to the FBI that he resented the demotion and felt
DuPont had 'betrayed' him," prosecutors said.
Shortly after refusing the DuPont job in Taiwan, Min began talking with
Victrex, which has facilities in both Taiwan and Shanghai.
A telephone message left at the offices of Victrex USA in West
Conshohocken, Pa., was not immediately returned Thursday.
ON THE NET
DuPont Co.: http://www2.dupont.com
Victrex PLC: http://www.victrex.com
U.S. Attorney for Delaware: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/de
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