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Theft of aircraft trade secrets intended to speed new product to market

Three men have been charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets from aircraft companies as a shortcut to developing and selling their own aircraft product.

Gilbert BasalduaJoseph Pascua, and Craig German have been indicted for Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets, while Basaldua also has been indicted for Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

The indictment alleged that all three men agreed to work on developing a product for a competitor company in return for a share of profits.  In order to obtain FAA certification for the product, however, an icing wind tunnel testing plan needed to be developed.  To shortcut the process of developing this plan, the indictment alleged that all three men agreed to steal trade secrets, including aircraft wing schematics and anti-ice testing documents, from aircraft companies in and outside of the Southern District of Georgia.

“The theft of trade secrets is an emerging economic threat,” said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “Together with our federal, state, local and private sector partners, we will lead the fight to protect technological innovation from criminal misappropriation.”

“The FBI is committed to identifying and prosecuting those who engage in illegal and deceptive practices to steal trade secrets and protected information from companies who spend millions of dollars to develop it,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “As the extent of these charges suggest, the FBI will not tolerate criminals that violate laws that protect companies and are in place to keep Americans safe.”

An indictment contains only charges. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. Each of the charges, upon conviction, carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release upon completion of any prison sentence. There is no parole in the federal system.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer G. Solari and Steven H. Lee.

This is a press release from the FBI.

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