Former Ford engineer arrested, charged with stealing trade secrets

2010 Ford Fusion

A former FoMoCo engineer has been charged with stealing trade secrets from the Dearborn automaker after accepting a job in China in 2006. According to the Justice Department, Xiang Dong Yu, 47, was Ford’s product engineer from 1997 to 2007 and in Dec. 2006 he accepted a job at the China brand of a U.S. company.

Yu was arrested on Wednesday at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport after coming to the United States from China on business. The Justice Department says that Yu is charged with theft of trade secrets and unauthorized access to a protected computer. He allegedly stole 4,000 Ford documents including sensitive material including design, engine specs, transmission mounting subsystems, electrical distribution systems and electrical subsystems.

“We are aware of the issue and cooperating fully with authorities,” Ford spokesman Mark Truby told Automotive News.

The indictment also says that Yu tried to use the documents to get a job with a Chinese automaker in 2005 and again in 2008.

If found guilty a maximum penalty for theft and attempted theft of trade secrets carries 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

– By: Omar Rana