William J. Edwards, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, today announced that an Information was filed charging Kyung J. Kim with one count of Theft of Trade Secrets Conspiracy and two counts of Theft of Trade Secrets.
Kim, age 62, resides in Broadview Heights, Ohio.
The Information charges that from in or about late 2001 through in or about January 2008, Kim conspired with three executives of SK Chemicals, a multinational chemical company located in Seoul, South Korea to steal and receive trade secrets belonging to the Lubrizol Corporation. The Information charges that Kim would gather Lubrizol trade secrets regarding Thermoplastic Polyurethane and other technology and provide them to the co-conspirators; this included Non-Halogen Flame Retardant Technology (NHFR) sold under the Estaneģ trade name and static control technology sold under the Stat-Riteģ trade name.
The Information states that Kim would meet with the co-conspirators at hotels and condominiums at various sites including Tucson, Arizona, Niagara Falls, Canada, and Suwon, South Korea. These meetings occurred on at least seventeen (17) occasions and would last for several days. At these meetings, Kim would explain the trade secrets and other confidential Lubrizol technology to the co-conspirators.
The Information alleges that the co-conspirators would provide Kim with envelopes of $10,000 in cash (usually in denominations of $100 bills) at each meeting in exchange for the trade secrets and other confidential Lubrizol technology. The co-conspirators would also reimburse all of Kimís travel expenses (usually $1100).
The Information further alleges that in or about late March 2007, and in or about late June 2007, Kim downloaded Lubrizol trade secrets and confidential technology, including trade secrets regarding TPU including Non-Halogen Flame Retardant Technology (NHFR), onto an external computer storage device in preparation for meetings with the co-conspirators.
If convicted, the defendantís sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendantís prior criminal record, if any, the defendantís role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin J. Roberts, following investigation by the Painesville office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The investigation is ongoing.
An Information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the governmentís burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.