NEWARK, N.J. – Anchi Hou, 61, East Brunswick, New Jersey, was arrested this morning and charged by complaint with one count of theft of trade secrets for allegedly stealing computer files from a DuPont manufacturing facility in Parlin, says Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick. A doctoral graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Hou has worked for DuPont, most currently as an inspector, for 27 years. He was formerly employed by Conoco. (Linked-in)
In December, 2016, Hou formed his own consulting company, a fact unknown to Dupont at the time. According to the official complaint against Hou, 20,000 files detected on Hou's home computer contained information that would provide Dupont's competitors with technical and economic advantages mostly related to the company's patented Cyrel technology.
Hou is scheduled to make his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court at 2:00 today.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court: In the summer and fall 2016, 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.
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.
Hou 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 revealed that it contained more than 20,000 stolen DuPont files related to the company’s flexographic printing plate technology.
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.
Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation leading to the 2 arrest. He also thanked security officials in the DuPont corporation for their cooperation in the investigation. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys James M. Donnelly of the U.S. Attorney’s Office National Security Unit and L. Judson Welle, coordinator of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Unit, in Newark.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty