One may not think that the coating inside a soda can would get someone into trouble, let alone federal criminal charges. But any valuable information can become part of an alleged criminal act if it was shared illegally, and people facing these sorts of charges need a robust criminal defense to get past it.
The case involves a chemical engineer working in Tennessee for a company developing new polymer coatings that preserve flavor and inhibit chemical reactions in foods and drinks packaged in metal containers. The charges against her include industrial espionage, as federal prosecutors claim the engineer was attempting to steal trade secrets and establish a competing company of her own.
Although container coatings may not grab people’s attention right away, the alleged theft was valued at $13 million, with another potential theft from the engineer’s previous employer valued at more than $100 million. Those charges stem from the former employer’s business with six related firms that entrusted their secrets to the engineer’s department.
Prosecutors’ evidence apparently includes a string of text message communications outlining the thefts, as well as several elements of the seven companies’ trade secrets in the engineer’s possession. A possible accomplice is in China, outside the jurisdiction of federal charges, as China has no extradition treaty with the United States.
Anyone facing federal criminal charges has the right to legal representation at any time, including during questioning or court appearances. An attorney is often an irreplaceable part of a criminal defense, as legal representation can file motions based on the evidence at hand and work with prosecutors on alternatives.