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Business

Scientist Accused Of Intellectual Property Theft

by Marc S. Reisch
December 5, 2011 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 89, ISSUE 49

An organic chemist who worked for Frontier Scientific until Nov. 1 has been charged with stealing the chemical “recipes” for 2,2'-dipyrromethane and other Frontier compounds. A complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah, where Frontier is based, accuses Prabhu Mohapatra, 42, of e-mailing the recipe from Frontier’s labs to his brother-in-law, who was setting up a firm in India called Medichemblox. The new firm, in which Mohapatra had an interest, was planning to produce the compounds in competition with Frontier. Bringing in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI to investigate allowed Frontier to press a case it didn’t have the resources to pursue on its own, CEO W. Tim Miller says. If convicted, Mohapatra could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined up to $250,000.

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