Xiang Dong Yu was a 10 year veteran of Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F). Yu recently pleaded guilty in federal court on November 17 to charges that he had stolen $50 million in company secrets. This includes design documents. He then sold the company secrets to a U.S. rival of Ford.
Yu had copied about 4,000 Ford documents to an external hard drive. This includes system design specifications. Then he took a job with the competitor in 2006. Yu now faces a sentence for 5-6 years in prison and owes a fine of up to $150,000 for theft of trade secrets valued between $50 million and $100 million.
A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Michigan was sent out about the case this past week. The documents included designs for components such as Engine/Transmission Mounting Subsystems, Electrical Distribution systems, Electric Power Supplies, Generic Body Modules, and Electrical Subsystems. Yu was a product engineer at Ford. Yu was taken into custody by the FBI in October 2009 when stopping in Chicago in a trip to China.