Engineer pleads guilty in Ford theft

Nov. 17, 2010 at 3:23 PM
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Nov. 17 (UPI) -- A Chinese engineer accused of stealing information from Ford Motor Co. pleaded guilty to intellectual property theft in federal court Wednesday.

Xiang Dong Yu worked for Ford for 10 years as a product engineer. He returned to China in December 2006, then e-mailed the company he was resigning his position, The Detroit News reported Wednesday.

Prosecutors said Yu took about 4,000 pages of Ford documents with him, which he sold in China. After leaving Ford, he took a job with the Beijing Automotive Co., the newspaper said.

He was arrested upon his return to the United States in 2009.

The FBI said 41 Ford documents were discovered on his laptop computer.

Yu, who will be sentenced in February, faces up to 78 months in prison, a fine of $150,000 and, following his prison term, deportation.

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