Theft of Trade Secrets (Nine Counts)


  • Photograph taken in 2017


William Yao


Date(s) of Birth Used October 18, 1961
Place of Birth People's Republic of China
Hair Brown
Eyes Brown
Height 5'6" to 5'7"
Weight 140 pounds
Sex Male
Race Asian
Occupation Software engineer/programmer
Languages English, Mandarin
NCIC W062901927


Xudong Yao is a naturalized United States Citizen. He is believed to be living in China and has previously resided in the United States.


Xudong Yao is wanted for his alleged involvement in the theft of proprietary information from a locomotive manufacturer in Chicago, Illinois.


Yao began working for the manufacturer in August of 2014. Within two weeks, Yao allegedly downloaded more than 3,000 unique electronic files containing proprietary and trade secret information relating to the system that operates the manufacturer's locomotives. Over the next six months, Yao allegedly downloaded numerous other electronic files containing proprietary and trade secret information, including technical documents and software codes. During that time, Yao allegedly sought, negotiated, and accepted employment with a business in China that provided automotive telematics service systems.


The Chicago manufacturer terminated Yao in February of 2015 for reasons unrelated to the alleged theft, which at that time had not been discovered. Shortly thereafter, Yao allegedly made copies of the stolen information. He allegedly traveled to China in 2015 and began working for the Chinese company.


On November 18, 2015, Yao traveled from China to Chicago. At the time, he allegedly had in his possession the stolen information, including nine complete copies of the Chicago manufacturer's control system source code and the systems specifications that explained how the code worked. Yao allegedly returned to China at some point thereafter.


In December of 2017, Yao was charged federally in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, with nine counts of theft of trade secrets. A federal arrest warrant was issued for Yao on December 13, 2017.



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