Former GM Engineer Accused of Stealing Company’s Trade Secrets image

FBI said that a former GM engineer and her husband, accused of stealing the company’s trade secrets, were seen in 2006 throwing out bags filled with shredded documents.

In 2010 the former GM engineer Shanshan Du, 53, and her husband, Yu Qin, 51, were charged with trying to steal the automaker’s trade secrets about hybrid vehicles and pass them to China’s Chery Automobile. The trial began on Monday, November 5th, in US District Court in Detroit.

On Tuesday several FBI agents declared that they saw the defendants in May 2006 throwing away bags filled with shredded documents in a shopping plaza in Troy, Michigan. The agents added that several files, computers and detachable hard drivers have been seized from the couple’s home office, but that they didn’t contain trade secrets.

Qin and Du are accused of trying to pass information on hybrid technology to Chinese Chery through a small firm they owned called Millennium Technology International. Officials believe that Du copied thousands of GM documents on an external hard before leaving the company in March 2005.

In August the couple proposed a JV on hybrids to Chery and in November 2005, Qin applied for jobs as a hybrid engineer, claiming that he had invented some of the technology stolen from GM. If the couple is found guilty, it will face a penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.