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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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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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