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Ex-Dow Agro scientist receives 7 years for economic espionage

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A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a former Dow AgroSciences researcher to more than seven years in prison for sending trade secrets worth millions of dollars to China and Germany.

Kexue Huang, 46, had pleaded guilty in October.

Federal sentencing guidelines called for Huang to spend 70 months to 87 months in prison, but prosecutors argued in an earlier court filing that he should receive a sentence at the “high end” of the guidelines. Judge William T. Lawrence of U.S. District Court in Indianapolis issued the maximum sentence, 87 months.

Huang entered the courtroom wearing a green jumpsuit and with shackles on his ankles and wrists.

Before the sentencing, he addressed the court in broken English and asked his family and friends for forgiveness.

“I’m am very sorry,” he said. “Please forgive me for what I did.”

Huang maintained he did not hurt anyone or cause any damage but wanted access to the trade secrets to compete with Dow and “possibly make money.” He attributed his decision to arrogance.

Lawrence said he will recommend Huang serve his sentence as close to Boston as allowed. He and his family moved to Massachusetts in 2009.

Huang worked as a researcher for Dow AgroSciences from January 2003 until his firing in February 2008.

He was indicted in 2010 on 12 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets to benefit a foreign government or instrumentality, along with transportation of stolen property.

This story originally ran on IBJ.com Dec. 21, 2011.

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