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British pair charged in 'industrial espionage' row

British pair charged in 'industrial espionage' row
British pair charged in 'industrial espionage' row 

By David Brown 
Times Online
March 9, 2009

A leading British manufacturer has been caught up in an industrial 
espionage row after two engineers used a mobile telephone to photograph 
a secret piece of equipment at an American factory.

The photographs are alleged to have been used by Wyko Tire Technology in 
Dudley, West Midlands, to manufacturer a specialist tyre machine for a 
Chinese company.

Engineers Clark Roberts and Sean Howley are alleged to have tricked 
their way into the Goodyear factory in Kansas to take seven photographs 
of machinery used make large .off the road. tyres for earth moving 
equipment, it is claimed.

The pictures were emailed to two Wyko employees at the factory in 
Britain and were used to manufacturer a similar piece of equipment for 
the Haohau South China Guilin Rubber Company based in north east China. 
The contract with the Chinese company was worth $1.2million.

Mr Roberts, 46, and Mr Howley, 38 - both employees of Wyko Tire 
Technology Inc in Greenback, Tennessee - have been charged with 12 
offences relating to the theft of trade secrets and wire fraud. They 
face a maximum sentence of 150 years in prison and a fine of 
$2.75million (2million).


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