Scientist sentenced for selling chemical secrets to Chinese

Jan 14, 2012

A former Dow Chemical Company scientist has been sentenced to five years in prison for selling trade secrets to Chinese companies, the US Justice Department announced Friday.

Wen Chyu Liu, also known as David Liou, was convicted February 7, 2011 of stealing and selling secrets about Dow Chemical's Tyrin chlorinated polyethylene (CPE) process.

The process is used to manufacture automotive and industrial hoses, electrical cable jackets and vinyl siding.

He also was convicted of perjury for lying to cover up his involvement in a conspiracy that included at least four of his coworkers. He was sentenced on Thursday in US District Court in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

In addition to the prison sentence, Liu, 75, must forfeit $600,000 and pay a $25,000 fine.

Liu came to the United States from China as a graduate university student. He started working as a research scientist for Dow Chemical in 1965 and retired in 1992.

Liu was based at the company's Plaquemine, Louisiana facility to develop elastomers, including Tyrin CPE.

"Liu had access to and confidential and proprietary pertaining to Dow's Tyrin CPE process and product technology," a Justice Department statement said.

Prosecutors said he traveled extensively throughout China to market the stolen information. He also was accused of paying current and former Dow employees for material and information about the secret chemicals.

"In one instance, Liu bribed a then-employee at the Plaquemine facility with $50,000 in cash to provide Dow's process manual and other CPE-related information," the reported.

The Midland, Michigan-based company said in a statement that, "Because of his education and position within the company, Mr. Liou knew of its immense value."

called the theft of its trade secrets "a complete betrayal of the trust imparted to Mr. Liou as a Dow employee."

Explore further: What I learned from debating science with trolls

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

5 years in US prison for Cisco counterfeiter

Sep 09, 2011

The US representative of a Chinese company was sentenced to five years in prison on Friday for importing counterfeit Cisco-branded computer networking equipment, money laundering and other offenses, the Justice ...

Recommended for you

Freedom and responsibility of science

2 hours ago

Yesterday, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Leopoldina National Academy of Sciences presented their recommendations for "The Freedom and Responsibility of Science" in Berlin. Both research organizations appeal ...

What I learned from debating science with trolls

Aug 20, 2014

I often like to discuss science online and I'm also rather partial to topics that promote lively discussion, such as climate change, crime statistics and (perhaps surprisingly) the big bang. This inevitably ...

Activists urge EU to scrap science advisor job

Aug 19, 2014

Nine major charities urged the European Commission on Tuesday to scrap a science advisor position it says puts too much power over sensitive policy into the hands of one person.

More to a skilled ear in music

Aug 15, 2014

The first pilot study in Australia to give musicians the skills and training to critically assess music by what they hear rather than what they see begins this month at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.The study aims to ...

User comments : 9

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gold2_718
2 / 5 (4) Jan 14, 2012
So he gets 5 years (I had to look that up because, as usual, the Physorg staff doesn't bother editing anything) and China once again walks free. What they can't do to us with cheap labor and global pollution (their smokestack crap regularly hits California), they do by just stealing our technology. As usual, our pols are afraid to do anything. Sigh.
M_N
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 14, 2012
So he gets 5 years (I had to look that up because, as usual, the Physorg staff doesn't bother editing anything)...

What are you talking about? It says "...has been sentenced to five years in prison" - what about that didn't you understand?
350
not rated yet Jan 14, 2012
Some don't read the title text. Wasn't mentioned in the article.
astro_optics
1 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2012
Well...how the hec do you think China will develop it's technology???
Callippo
5 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2012
This is just a tip of iceberg.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 15, 2012
Obviously America has no respect for freedom of speech and individual liberty.

"Wen Chyu Liu, also known as David Liou, was convicted February 7, 2011 of stealing and selling secrets about Dow Chemical's Tyrin chlorinated polyethylene (CPE) process." - Articls
deatopmg
1 / 5 (2) Jan 15, 2012
What hasn't been done, or at least revealed in the article, is that all similar PRC produced chlorinated rubber products, and all products containing them should be permanently banned from the U.S. even if there is only a suspicion of the product being made w/ stolen technology. The onus of proof that it is not should be on the PRC (Red Army owned?) company.

This should be done for all PRC products made w/ stolen technologies. Eventually, the PRC MAY get it.
BillFox
4 / 5 (4) Jan 15, 2012
Vendicar I really hope that was a joke, because even though some of our liberties are being constantly undermined, I don't think that trade secerets should fall under freedom of speach.
Telekinetic
3 / 5 (2) Jan 15, 2012
When the U.S. defeated the Axis Powers in 1945, the first thing the U.S. government did was to import many of Germany's top research scientists into the U.S. and put them to work, even though many of them should have been tried as war criminals. Werner Von Braun, a dedicated Nazi and rocket scientist, became the head of the U.S. space program. Although the theft of intellectual property is, without question, a felonious crime, do we know if the Chinese government was involved, and if they were, are they really acting any differently than our government in sidestepping the law?