2 men guilty in sale of trade secrets to China

Mar 5, 2014 12:36 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal jury has found two men guilty of economic espionage involving the theft and sale of a U.S. company's technology to a competitor controlled by the Chinese government.

The jury returned the verdict on Wednesday against Robert Maegerle and Walter Liew.

They were accused of stealing Delaware-based DuPont Co.'s method for making titanium oxide, a chemical that fetches $17 billion a year in sales worldwide and is used to whiten everything from cars to the middle of Oreo cookies.

Each defendant could face sentences of 15 years or more in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

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