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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Scientists Indicted For Allegedly Stealing Biopharmaceutical Trade Secrets

PHILADELPHIA – An indictment was filed today charging five people in an alleged scheme to steal biopharmaceutical trade secrets from pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.  Charged in the conspiracy are: Yu Xue, 45, of Wayne, PA; Tao Li, 42, of Nanjing, China; Yan Mei, 36, of Nanjing, China; Tian Xue, 45, of Charlotte, NC; and Lucy Xi, 38, of West Lake Village, CA.  The indictment includes charges of conspiracy to steal trade secrets, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, theft of trade secrets, and wire fraud.


Yu Xue and Lucy Xi were scientists working at GSK’s research facility in Upper Merion, PA.  According to the indictment, the defendants engaged in a scheme to steal trade secrets related to GSK research data, procedures, and manufacturing processes for biopharmaceutical products.  Many of the biopharmaceutical products targeted were designed to treat cancer or other serious diseases.  Yu Xue, Tao Li, and Yan Mei formed a corporation in China called Renopharma allegedly to market and sell the stolen trade secret information.  It is further alleged that in order to hide the proceeds of the crime, Yu Xue, Tao Li, and Yan Mei agreed to title the proceeds in the name of Yu Xue’s sister, Tian Xue, and other family members.


If convicted of all charges, each defendant faces a possible prison term, fines, restitution, special assessments, and a term of supervised release.


The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Livermore.

Updated February 4, 2016