AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - A former employee of an Amherst technology firm was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on charges he stole trade secrets.
Yi Liu of Lexington, South Carolina formerly worked at Sprung-brett RDI, a technology firm located in the University of Buffalo's Technology Incubator on Sweet Home Road in Amherst. The U.S. Attorney's Office says after leaving his position in February 2011, the 40-year-old man kept the laptop given to him for use by Sprung-brett and used it to download trade secrets about "electric actuation system technology," technology that the company was developing for possible use in nuclear submarines and on Air Force fighters.
Prosecutors say Liu disclosed those trade secrets, but they did not elaborate to whom he disclosed them or if Liu profited from their disclosure.
The FBI has searched his home and workspace at his new employer in Lexington, seizing computers and documents to be analyzed.
Liu was also charged with wire fraud for attempting to obtain pay from Sprung-brett he was not entitled to.
If convicted of both charges, Liu faces a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison, a fine of $3.5 million, or both.
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