Michigan Man Sentenced for Stealing Trade Secrets
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 16, 2014|
A former employee of Wacker Chemical Corporation, whose American facilities are located in Adrian, Michigan, was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison after having pleaded guilty to stealing trade secrets from that company and disclosing them to KCC Silicones, a Korean-based chemical company, announced U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade.
McQuade was joined in the announcement by Paul Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Duggan imposed sentence on Michael Agadoa, 62, of Midland, and also ordered that he pay a fine of $7,500.
According to the factual basis offered to support the plea, Michael Agadoa worked for Wacker as an engineer for a number of years and left the company’s employment in 1997. Agadoa admitted that he took numerous formulas used in the production of silicone-based and rubber products sold by Wacker when he left. In early 2010, as he was negotiating employment with KCC, Agadoa provided copies of the Wacker formulas to KCC. Later, from March 2010 to April 2012, while Agadoa was employed by KCC, he used stolen Wacker formulas to assist KCC in the development of silicone-based products.
"This defendant has admitted to stealing formulas from a chemical company, which invested time, effort, and money to develop these trade secrets," McQuade said. "Stealing trade secrets harms Michigan businesses and costs jobs. We are committed to protecting Michigan’s technology, and we hope that this prosecution will send a message that stealing proprietary information from an employer or competitor is a serious crime."
“Theft of trade secrets and commercial innovations is a serious criminal offense, whether prompted by personal greed or a desire to exploit shortcuts to economic and technological pre-eminence,” stated Mr. Abbate. “These criminal acts negatively impact U.S. industry and the hard-working people and businesses of Michigan. The FBI will continue to work with our partners to bring these criminals to justice and send a message that they will be held accountable for this type of illegal conduct."
U.S. Attorney McQuade thanked the FBI for the successful investigation of the case.