HOUSTON — A former Dow Chemical Company research scientist was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing trade secrets selling them to the People’s Republic of China.
Wen Chyu Liu, also known as David W. Liou, 75, of Houston, also was sentenced for committing perjury, The Justice Department announced Jan. 13. He was also sentenced to two years of supervised release and ordered him to forfeit $600,000 and pay a $25,000 fine.
He was convicted by a federal jury in Baton Rouge, La., on Feb. 7, 2011, of one count of conspiracy to commit trade secret theft and one count of perjury.
According to the evidence presented in court, Liu came to the United States from China for graduate work. While employed at Dow, he worked as a research scientist at the company’s Plaquemine, La., facility on various aspects of the development and manufacture of Dow elastomers.
Liu had access to trade secrets and confidential and proprietary information pertaining to Dow’s Tyrin CPE process and product technology. The evidence at trial established that Liu conspired with at least four current and former employees of Dow’s facilities in Plaquemine and Stade, Germany, who had worked in Tyrin CPE production, to misappropriate those trade secrets in an effort to develop and market CPE process design packages to various Chinese companies.
According to the announcement Liu traveled extensively throughout China to market the stolen information, and evidence introduced at trial showed that he paid current and former Dow employees for Dow’s CPE-related material and information. 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.
Liu falsely denied during a deposition that he made arrangements for a co-conspirator to travel to China to meet with representatives of a Chinese company interested in designing and building a new CPE plant. Liu was under oath at the time of the deposition, which was part of a federal civil suit brought by Dow against Liu. This led to the perjury charge.