Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Colorado Corporation Settles Allegations of Trade Secret Theft in the Eastern District of Texas
PLANO, Texas – A Colorado corporation has agreed to settle allegations of trade secret theft in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.
ADA-ES, Inc., and ADA Environmental Solutions, LLC, (collectively, “ADA”), entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office accepting responsibility for their actions, pledging to continue a culture of corporate compliance, and continuing to make payments to the victim corporation from whom confidential information had been acquired.
Between approximately 2000 and 2006, ADA and another corporation agreed to jointly develop, test, and market a product known as activated carbon in North America; activated carbon was, and is, used to remove mercury emissions from waste gas created through the manufacturing process of certain industrial products. According to the non-prosecution agreement, ADA inappropriately maintained the confidential information that it had been provided by its partner corporation.
The agreement between ADA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office requires ADA to provide training programs and compliance checks designed to ensure that proper safeguards are in place to protect confidential information, and provide periodic progress reports to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. On its own, and prior to the government’s investigation, ADA employed general counsel to oversee these efforts. The agreement also requires that ADA abide by the terms of a settlement agreement between it and the partner corporation, which required a $40.5 million payment to the partner corporation as well as a running royalty on ADA’s sale of activated carbon until 2018.
“Information is akin to currency in the modern world. Like individuals, corporations that acquire protected information have a duty to guard its confidentiality,” said U.S. Attorney Bales. “We intend to be vigilant to ensure that the acquisition and use of such information is handled appropriately.”This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and negotiated by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shamoil T. Shipchandler and J. Kevin McClendon.