Kevin J. OíConnor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that EDWARD R. GRANDE, age 48, of Seymour, Connecticut, waived indictment and pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport to one count of stealing trade secrets from his employer, Duracell Corporation of Bethel, Connecticut.
According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, between March and June 2006, GRANDE, who was employed as a cell development technologist at Duracell, copied and downloaded to his computer research regarding Duracellís AA batteries. GRANDE emailed the information to a home computer and also carried the information from the Duracell offices. GRANDE then sent the trade secret information to two competitors of Duracell in order to cause economic injury to Duracell and to provide the competitors with an economic advantage.
Neither of Duracellís competitors had requested or solicited Duracellís trade secret information, and both of the competitors sent the information they received from GRANDE back to Duracell. Duracell generates more than one billion dollars in revenue from the sale of AA batteries.
"The theft of trade secrets is a serious crime that has the potential to cause significant economic damage to the owners of trade secrets and their shareholders," U.S. Attorney OíConnor stated. "We and our federal law enforcement partners will actively investigate and prosecute these crimes in order to deter this type of criminal conduct."
Judge Hall has scheduled sentencing for April 23, 2007, at 4:00 p.m., at which time GRANDE faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Duracell Corporation. The case is being prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Richard J. Schechter.