Couple Convicted of Stealing Hybrid Car Trade Secrets from GM for China

Trade secrets arrestBy Eddie Allen

DETROIT -- A former General Motors engineer and her husband were found guilty on Friday of conspiring to steal the automaker's trade secrets.

Shanshan Du, 53, the former GM employee, was ruled guilty of conspiracy to possess trade secrets without authorization and two counts of unauthorized possession of trade secrets. She was found not guilty of three counts of wire fraud.

Du's husband, Yu Qin, 51, was found guilty on all six counts, as well as a seventh count for obstruction of justice.

Trade secret counts carry a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The wire fraud counts and an obstruction charge each carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing will occur in February 2013.

The jury of nine women and three men deliberated for less than a full day after the case was sent to them late on Thursday. The trial in U.S. District Court in Detroit began on Nov. 5.

Du and Qin were charged in 2010 in a seven-count indictment with trying to steal GM trade secrets related to hybrid vehicles to pass on to China's Chery Automobile Co.

Attorneys for both Du and Qin argued the documents in question were not trade secrets.

Qin and Du, who worked as a GM engineer, were accused of taking confidential GM information on hybrid technology and trying to pass it to Chinese automakers through a small firm they owned called Millennium Technology International, according to court documents.

Du was accused of copying thousands of GM documents to an external hard drive five days after the automaker offered her a severance agreement in January 2005.

She left GM's advanced technology group in March 2005. In August of that year, Qin and Du proposed a joint venture on hybrids to China's Chery in a series of emails, according to court documents.

Then in November 2005, Qin, who had been working as an electrical engineer in Troy, applied for jobs as a hybrid engineer, claiming on his resume he had invented some of the stolen GM technology, according to court documents.

The couple were required to surrender their U.S. passports and cannot leave the Detroit area without court permission.

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Gonna hang 'em out to dry, but yet that rag head that killed a dozen soldiers, is STILL living high on the hog, with nothing being done!!!!!! What a sorry state of affairs our country has come to!!!!!!!!!

December 03 2012 at 4:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Americans shouldnt worry about this theft, its GM's electric car secrets we would really have to worry had these secrets been Nissan's becausethey work.

December 03 2012 at 12:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

China copies everything, there is not an original thought coming out of China.

December 03 2012 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

OMG....We are going to lose all the "secrets" of the Hot Selling Chevy Volt!!!!!

December 03 2012 at 10:17 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

China continues to steal everything that isn't nailed down. They invent nothing and steal everything.

December 03 2012 at 8:55 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Gilbert's comment

As does Obama and his friends.

December 03 2012 at 9:27 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Ironically, Harvard and MIT take lots of students from China and give them the best training. These people will go back to their country and hack the sh*t out of our systems.

May 01 2013 at 11:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why do people act so ""SURPRISED"that this happened! I sure this is not the only case of it either. China has never played by the rules and never will!

December 03 2012 at 8:50 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
stock market

Does this mean they have the Chevy VOLT secrets? The poor Chinese people that buy one. See what happens when you hire foreign nationals for cheap labor. You could have had an American college graduate at just a little more pay.

December 03 2012 at 7:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to stock market's comment

Dear stock market, the last time i advertised for an electrical engineer only chinese and russian engineers applied and i paid them more than americans.
the time before that i hired a american software engineer. not close to the quality i received from a young chinese american college grad. ended up dumping the american, skill and attendance. Americans are lazy and have a very poor work ethic.

December 03 2012 at 11:19 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

And you really think these two are going to still be around by Feb 2013? Better guess is they will be in China. If they were able to steal that many documents what would make anyone think they don't have this information hidden to use to leave the country. This "promise to stay here"is about the silliest thing I have heard of. Fake passports are fairly easy to obtain for a price. Facing that much prison time is a pretty good reason to disappear before Feb,2013! Another crazy trial outcome.

December 03 2012 at 2:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

probably the other way around

December 03 2012 at 1:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The former GM site in NJ is a FEMA Camp! As the US jobs leave on NJ the Americans leave the state an visa workers move in.

December 03 2012 at 1:18 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply