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Couple get prison for stealing GM trade secrets

May 2, 2013 at 4:44 PM

DETROIT, May 2 (UPI) -- A Michigan woman who once worked for GM as an engineer and her husband have received prison terms for conspiring to sell hybrid-vehicle technology to China.

Shanshan Du, 54, of Troy, Mich., and her husband Yu Qin, 52, were convicted in November. A federal judge sentenced Du to a year and a day Wednesday and Qin to three years, The Detroit News reported.

The sentences were far shorter than the maximum 10 years sought by GM.

"Protecting trade secrets from improper disclosure and use is important to GM and directly impacts the nation's economic well-being," the company said in a statement after the hearing. "GM is pleased that the court sent a message that such theft will be punished."

Prosecutors said they do not believe Du and Qin successfully got any information to China. Investigators found GM proprietary information on their computers.

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