Lexington Couple and their Semiconductor Company Indicted on Charges of Theft of Trade Secrets from Norwood Semiconductor Company
BOSTON – A naturalized U.S. citizen living in Lexington, his wife, and a company they established were charged today in a 24-count superseding indictment in connection with the theft of hundreds of files containing proprietary information from Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI), a worldwide semiconductor company headquartered in Norwood.
Haoyang Yu, a/k/a “Jack Yu,” a/k/a “Harry Yu,” a/k/a “Jack Tricon,” 41, of Lexington, and his company, Tricon MMIC LLC (Tricon), were charged with three counts of possession and attempted possession of a trade secret; two counts of smuggling; two counts of transporting stolen goods; one count of visa fraud; and one count of procuring U.S. citizenship unlawfully. Yu and his wife, Yanzhi Chen, 22, also of Lexington, were also charged with three counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting wire fraud. Yu was previously charged by indictment in June 2019 with stealing, copying, downloading, and possessing ADI’s trade secrets.
According to the superseding indictment, Yu was born in Harbin, China, and first came to the United States in 2002 through the student visa program. He became a lawful permanent resident in June 2009, and a naturalized U.S. citizen in March 2017. From July 2014 to July 2017, Yu was employed by ADI as a principal design engineer.
As alleged in the indictment, Yu worked for ADI designing and developing parts of monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs), which are used in radio, cellular and satellite communications, as well as in defense and aerospace applications. As a result of his work, Yu had access to data and information relating to ADI’s present and future product designs, schematics, manufacturing files and testing procedures. It is alleged that, while working for ADI, Yu downloaded hundreds of highly confidential schematic design and modeling files that belonged to ADI, and uploaded many of these files to his personal Google drive account. The files YU stole from ADI were worth millions of dollars.
In March 2017, approximately five months before he resigned from ADI, Yu and his wife established Tricon, which, according to its website, “specializes in wide band MMIC amplifiers,” and serves customers in “defense and aerospace, test and instrumentation, [and] satellite communications.”
On July 31, 2017, Yu allegedly resigned from ADI and signed an agreement affirming that he had surrendered all proprietary information or data. Nevertheless, in December 2018 and again in June 2019, Yu allegedly had propriety ADI files in his possession both in his Google drive account and on his personal computers. Since creating Tricon in March 2017, Yu marketed and sold approximately 20 ADI designs as his own, and even used the same Taiwanese semiconductor fabrication plant as ADI to manufacture Tricon’s MMIC parts. The superseding indictment alleges that the defendants fraudulently obtained MMIC and other semiconductor parts from the Taiwanese semiconductor fabrication plant by providing the plant with ADI’s stolen designs and other proprietary information, and furthermore concealed the fact that the designs were stolen from ADI.
Yu and Tricon also allegedly smuggled export-controlled technology from the United States to Taiwan without obtaining the necessary export license from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Finally, the superseding indictment alleges that Yu committed visa fraud and procured U.S. citizenship unlawfully by failing to disclose material facts and information concerning the theft of ADI’s trade secrets in his Application for Naturalization (Form N-400), which he submitted to the U.S Department of Homeland Security in or about February 2017.
The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. All other charges each provide for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew Lelling; William Higgins, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement, Boston Field Office; Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigation, Boston Field Office; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Michael Wiest, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Northeast Field Office made the announcement today. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Coast Guard Investigative Service, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Massachusetts State Police, the Lexington Police Department and the Hingham Police Department also provided assistance with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amanda Beck and Jason A. Casey of Lelling’s National Security Unit and B. Stephanie Siegmann, Chief of Lelling’s National Security Unit, are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.