Tue, August 19th, 2014 - 1:13 pm - By Gordon Basichis
Corporate espionage is on the upswing. Since the Great Recession and the economic downturn, either desperate employees or conniving employees have resorted to stealing trade secrets and proprietary information. We at Corra Group know of at least one company that was seriously damaged by an employee stealing one of their most valued trade secrets and selling it to a foreign company.
Once upon a time there was more loyalty between entity and employee. For the most part, that seems to be long gone along with the twenty year stints at one company at the gold watch at retirement. Today it is essential to conduct background checks on all employment candidates, but it is also wise to conduct ongoing background checks to be sure they have not gotten into the kind of trouble that would cause them to steal. Remember, we are not talking about a few paper clips and notepads anymore. We are talking about the theft of information that could cause serious damage to your company.
Here is an excerpt of the article from the Wall Street Journal.
California chemical engineer Walter Liew has been sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined $28.3 million for economic espionage. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said Thursday that Liew had “turned against his adopted country over greed” when he sold Chinese government-controlled companies DuPont’s secret recipe for the white pigment titanium dioxide. Liew received $28 million from those companies in exchange for the recipe. Aside from the $28.3 million, the engineering company launched by Liew and his wife was fined $18.9 million. Two former DuPont engineers have already been convicted of economic espionage for their involvement in the case. The Liews are believed to have hired those engineers and paid them thousands of dollars to steal documents related to the manufacturing process for titanium dioxide.