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Two Engineers Arraigned For Theft Of Trade Secrets From Goodyear

Technicians allegedly took photos of proprietary equipment and used them to make equipment for Goodyear's Chinese rival
Two Wyko Tire Technology engineers are facing up to 150 years in prison after allegedly scamming their way into a Goodyear tire factory and secretly photographing its proprietary equipment.

According to a UPI report, in early 2007 Wyko secured a contract to supply the Haohau South China Guilin Rubber Co. with tire manufacturing equipment, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

In May of that year, Wyko engineers Sean Howley and Clark Roberts allegedly visited a Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plant in Topeka, Kan., under false pretenses. During the visit the pair "used a cell phone to surreptitiously photograph proprietary [off-the-road] tire manufacturing equipment," the DoJ said.

The photographs, which contained "valuable trade secret information," were sent to a Wyko subsidiary in Dudley, England, where they were used to build similar equipment for the Chinese tire company, according to the DoJ. The contract was worth approximately $1.2 million.

Roberts and Howley were arraigned in Knoxville, Tenn., and both denied the charges against them. If convicted, the two face up to 150 years in prison and a fine of $2.75 million on 12 counts related to theft of trade secrets and trade fraud, Justice said.

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