Chinese Scientist Indicted for Corporate Espionage in Texas


By: Jim Kouri, CPP

A chemist employed by a corporation headquartered in Houston, Texas, involved in researching, developing and supplying fire-proof coating and intumescent products has been indicted and charged with theft of trade secrets and computer fraud, according to United States Attorney Don DeGabrielle and FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew R. Bland.

Qinggui Zeng, a/k/a Jensen Zeng, 45, a legal permanent resident from the People’s Republic of China, was arrested by FBI agents on January 29, 2008, and ordered detained in federal custody pending further criminal proceedings.

The indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Houston on Wednesday, February 20, 2008, charges Zeng with two counts of theft of trade secrets and one count of computer fraud. Zeng is expected to appear in federal court for arraignment on the charges on a date to be set by the court in the near future.

A “trade secret” is defined under federal law as including all forms and types of information — financial, business, scientific, technical, economic or engineering — that the owner has taken reasonable measures to keep secret, and that has independent economic value because it is not generally known or ascertainable by the public. A confidentiality agreement is an agreement signed by an employee promising not to disclose the confidential, proprietary or trade secret information belonging to his employer.

According to allegations contained in the indictment, Zeng was employed in January 2005 as a formulation chemist by a subsidiary of a worldwide paint and coatings company based in the Netherlands and headquartered in Houston, Texas.

The company is a researcher, developer and supplier of an epoxy-based fire-proof coating and intumescent products. The company is the only manufacturing company in the world that had developed proprietary and confidential manufacturing techniques, processes and mixtures that could successfully fabricate an intumescent fire-proofing product which it marketed in interstate commerce. The company took reasonable measures to keep the information secret.

According to the federal indictment, Zeng allegedly signed a confidentiality agreement with his employer and was aware of his responsibility to keep and maintain the confidentiality of his employer’s proprietary interest in trade secrets. Between Nov. 1, 2005, and Jan. 29, 2008, Zeng is accused of accessing without authorization his employer’s protected computer system and obtaining the trade secret formula for the intumescent fire-proofing product with the intent to defraud his employer.

Zeng is accused of downloading the trade secret formula from the company’s database with the intent to convert the trade secret to the benefit of a person other than his employer on or about November 1, 2005, and again on Jan. 29, 2008, and concealing the formula in a box under the insulation in the attic of his residence.

The indictment also alleges Zeng formed his own business in October 2007 for the purpose of marketing intumescent fire-proofing coating.

Each count of theft of trade secrets carries a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine upon conviction. Computer fraud and abuse carries maximum punishment of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine upon conviction.

The investigation leading to the charges against Zeng are the result of an investigation conducted by the Houston office of the FBI. The case will be prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Bret Davis.



Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.

He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com and PHXnews.com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us

About The Author Jim Kouri, CPP:
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.
Website:http://jimkouri.us

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