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Ethics

Ex-Monsanto scientist indicted for trade secrets theft

by Marc S. Reisch
November 30, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE 47

A federal grand jury in St. Louis has indicted former Monsanto researcher Haitao Xiang for stealing crop productivity algorithms with the intention of handing them over to a Chinese government research institute. After Xiang quit his job in June 2017, he downloaded the algorithms to a micro-SD card, according to the indictment. He then purchased a one-way ticket to China; federal officials stopped him at the airport and seized the card. If convicted, Xiang faces up to 15 years in prison and a $5 million fine on each of several espionage charges, and up to 10 years for each of several trade secret theft charges.

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