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Scientist convicted of selling Dow secrets to China

February 08/2011

(mySA) -- A former research scientist was convicted Monday of charges he stole trade secrets from Dow Chemical Company and sold them to companies in China. After a three-week trial, a federal jury in Baton Rouge convicted Wen Chyu Liu, 74, also known as David Liou, of conspiracy to commit trade secret theft and perjury.

Liu worked at Dow's Plaquemine facility before he retired in 1992. Prosecutors said he conspired with at least four other Dow employees in Louisiana and Germany to sell confidential information about the company's production of a polymer called chlorinated polyethylene, which is used in automotive hoses, vinyl siding and other products.

Liu bribed one employee at the Plaquemine facility with $50,000 in cash in exchange for Dow's process manual and other information, according to prosecutors. "Such actions undermine the economic viability of our community and our nation, and will not be tolerated," U.S. Attorney Don Cazayoux said in a statement.

Prosecutors said Liu, who was sued by Dow, lied under oath during a deposition for the civil case when he denied making arrangements for a coconspirator to travel to China to meet with a company's representative.

The Houston resident faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. His sentencing date wasn't immediately set.

Liu's attorney, Frank Holthaus, said his client was stunned by the verdict because he "thought that American justice would see through what Dow had paid its lawyers to do," Holthaus said.

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