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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/6/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

U.S. crackdown on industrial espionage to benefit China goes into effect

Can you keep a secret .? Fifty-six-year-old Engineering Consultant Walter Liew is accused of stealing secret DuPont technology for a Chinese company. Jurors in San Francisco as they are set to deliberate in a case that's part of a U.S. crackdown on industrial espionage to benefit China.

Fifty-six-year-old Engineering Consultant Walter Liew is accused of stealing secret DuPont technology for a Chinese company.

Fifty-six-year-old Engineering Consultant Walter Liew is accused of stealing secret DuPont technology for a Chinese company.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/6/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: DuPont, China, espionage, Walter Liew


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Liew is accused of stealing and selling the details of a manufacturing process for titanium dioxide, which is a white pigment used in paper, paint and plastics. He's accused of delivering the information to China's Pangang Group.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Axelrod said in his closing arguments after an almost five-week trial. "When the wheels came off, they lied about it."

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Thirty-three witnesses were called to the trial, including engineers from Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont, the world's largest producer of the pigment, and rival manufacturers Tronox Ltd. and Cristal Global.

Liew began his clandestine activities after a 1991 meeting with Luo Gan, who as secretary general of China's state council at the time. Luo encouraged Liew to obtain technologies beneficial to China, Axelrod said. Liew and a former DuPont engineer who is also charged were found out in 2011 and didn't come clean, he said.

Liew along with his Oakland, California-based consulting company were paid $28 million from 2006 to 2011 for contracts to design a titanium dioxide plant for Pangang, prosecutors said at trial. He used process-flow diagrams and parts of a DuPont internal report about plant equipment, both trade secrets. Axelrod cited documents on Liew's computers seized by federal agents in 2011 that referenced "stolen prints."

A Malaysian farmer's son who emigrated to the U.S. in 1980, Liew is charged with conspiracy, economic espionage and trade-secret theft.

He's among more than 20 people charged in recent years with stealing U.S. technology for China.

Liew's lawyer told the jury that his client used patents he obtained and publicly available information -- and not trade secrets, to come up with his own titanium dioxide plant design to compete with DuPont's technology.

Prosecutors asked the jury to convict Liew on 22 counts of economic espionage, trade-secret theft, witness tampering, filing false tax returns and making false statements in a bankruptcy proceeding. The panel could begin deliberations this week.

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