By Eddie Allen
DETROIT, Nov 30 (Reuters) - A former General Motors Co
engineer and her husband were found guilty on Friday of
conspiring to steal the automaker's trade secrets.
Shanshan Du, 53, the former GM employee, was ruled guilty of
conspiracy to possess trade secrets without authorization and
two counts of unauthorized possession of trade secrets. She was
found not guilty of three counts of wire fraud.
Du's husband, Yu Qin, 51, was found guilty on all six
counts, as well as a seventh count for obstruction of justice.
The trade secret counts carry a penalty of up to 10 years
imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The wire fraud counts and an
obstruction charge each carry a penalty of up to 20 years in
prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing will occur in February
The jury of nine women and three men deliberated for less
than a full day after the case was sent to them late on
Thursday. The trial in U.S. District Court in Detroit began on
Du and Qin were charged in 2010 in a seven-count indictment
with trying to steal GM trade secrets related to hybrid vehicles
to pass on to China's Chery Automobile Co.
Attorneys for both Du and Qin argued the documents in
question were not trade secrets.
Qin and Du, who worked as a GM engineer, were accused of
taking confidential GM information on hybrid technology and
trying to pass it to Chinese automakers through a small firm
they owned called Millennium Technology International, according
to court documents.
Du was accused of copying thousands of GM documents to an
external hard drive five days after the automaker offered her a
severance agreement in January 2005.
She left GM's advanced technology group in March 2005. In
August of that year, Qin and Du proposed a joint venture on
hybrids to China's Chery in a series of emails, according to
Then in November 2005, Qin, who had been working as an
electrical engineer in Troy, applied for jobs as a hybrid
engineer, claiming on his resume he had invented some of the
stolen GM technology, according to court documents.
The couple were required to surrender their U.S. passports
and cannot leave the Detroit area without court permission.
GM declined to comment on the verdict.
The case is In re: U.S. v. Qin, U.S. District Court, Eastern
District of Michigan, No. 10-cr-20454.
(Additional Reporting By Ben Klayman)
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