An East Brunswick man appeared in federal court in Newark on April 7 on charges he stole computer files containing trade secrets from a DuPont manufacturing facility in Parlin.
Anchi Hou, 61, charged by complaint earlier in the day with one count of theft of trade secrets, according to a statement prepared by Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court, last summer and fall, Hou allegedly copied and removed thousands of files containing DuPont’s proprietary information, including formulas, data and customer information related to flexographic printing plate technology, according to the statement. He also allegedly took photographs in restricted areas of plant equipment and layouts used to manufacture DuPont’s products.
After allegedly stealing DuPont’s trade secrets, Hou announced his intention to retire from the company by the end of 2016. At some point in 2016, he formed a consulting business intended to provide consulting services to the manufacturing industry, according to the statement. Hou reportedly admitted to DuPont officials he secretly copied the files from his DuPont work computer and then uploaded those files onto a personal computer at his residence in order to assist him with his consulting business.
A forensic review of Hou’s personal computer reportedly that it contained more than 20,000 stolen DuPont files related to the company’s flexographic printing plate technology, according to the statement. Some of the stolen files include information that DuPont considers trade secrets developed by its employees over the course of the past 40 years and which are critical to its technical, economic and business operations.
The theft of trade secrets charge carries a maximum potential penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss.