SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal jury in Baton Rouge, La., this week convicted a former research scientist of stealing trade secrets from Dow Chemical Co. and selling them to companies in the People’s Republic of China.
The jury found Wen Chyu Liu, aka David W. Liou, of Houston, guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit trade secret theft and one count of perjury.
According to the FBI, ''Liou came to the United States from China for graduate work. He began working for Dow in 1965 and retired in 1992.'' Dow is a producer of the elastomeric polymer, chlorinated polyethylene (CPE). Dow’s Tyrin CPE is used in a number of applications worldwide, such as automotive and industrial hoses, electrical cable jackets, and vinyl siding.
''While employed at Dow, Liou worked as a research scientist at the company’s Plaquemine, La., facility on various aspects of the development and manufacture of Dow elastomers, including Tyrin CPE. Liou had access to trade secrets and confidential and proprietary information pertaining to Dow’s Tyrin CPE process and product technology,' according to the FBI. ''The evidence at trial established that Liou conspired with at least four current and former employees of Dow’s facilities in Plaquemine and Stade, Germany, who had worked in Tyrin CPE production, to misappropriate those trade secrets in an effort to develop and market CPE process design packages to various Chinese companies.''
''Liou traveled extensively throughout China to market the stolen information, and evidence introduced at trial showed that he paid current and former Dow employees for Dow’s CPE-related material and information. In one instance, Liou bribed a then-employee at the Plaquemine facility with $50,000 in cash to provide Dow’s process manual and other CPE-related information,'' according to the FBI.
Liou faces a maximum of 10 years in prison on the conspiracy to commit trade secrets theft charge, and a maximum of five years in prison on the perjury charge. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.