A former General Motors engineer and her husband conspired to steal trade secrets about hybrid technology and use the information to make private deals with Chinese competitors, according to a federal indictment.
Shanshan Du and Yu Qin, both of Troy, Michigan were indicted on conspiracy, fraud and other charges. The indictment says Du, who was hired at GM in 2000, purposely sought a transfer in 2003 to get access to hybrid technology and began copying documents by the end of that year. In 2005, she copied thousands of documents, five days after getting a severance offer from the automaker, according to the indictment. By that summer, Qin was telling people he had a deal to provide hybrid technology to Chery Automobile, a GM competitor in China, the indictment says. The couple had set up their own company, Millennium Technology International.
The indictment said GM learned about the alleged theft and called the FBI. GM estimates the value of the stolen information at $40 million.