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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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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