A newly unsealed federal indictment charges a software engineer for stealing proprietary information from his workplace and bringing it to China, the Department of Justice reports.
Xudong Yao was a software engineer for a locomotive manufacturer in suburban Chicago, where he began working in August 2014. Within two weeks of his hiring date, Yao downloaded more than 3,000 files containing proprietary and trade secret data related to the system that runs the company's locomotives. Over the following six months he continued to download electronic files containing technical documents and software source code, the indictment says.
At the same time he was working for his Chicago employer and stealing information, Yao sought and accepted employment at a business providing automotive telematics service systems based in China. His Chicago employer terminated him in February 2015 for reasons unrelated to the theft, of which it was still unaware. Soon after his termination, Yao copied the stolen data, traveled to China, and began his new job.
According to the indictment, Yao later flew back to Chicago in November 2015 with the stolen information, which included copies of his former employer's control system source code and content explaining how the code worked. He later went back to China, where he is believed to reside.
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