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Press Release

Fourth defendant convicted in conspiracy to steal aircraft design secrets

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Scheme tried to shortcut review process with stolen information

SAVANNAH, GA:  A California man has been found guilty at trial for his role in a conspiracy to steal aircraft design and testing information in a plot to shorten the regulatory approval process for another company’s aircraft technology.

Juan Martinez, 53, of Yorba Linda, California, was convicted after a five-day trial in U.S. District Court in Savannah on one count of Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The conviction subjects Martinez to a statutory penalty of up to 10 years in prison, along with substantial financial penalties and restitution, and up to three years of supervised release upon completion of any prison term.

There is no parole in the federal system.

“The conspirators in this case schemed to abuse a position of trust inside a major company in the Southern District of Georgia in order to steal proprietary engineering information to provide an unfair advantage to competing products,” said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. “We commend the hard work of our law enforcement partners in bringing this investigation and prosecution to a successful conclusion.”

As the evidence showed at trial, Martinez was a contractor who worked as a technical lead for a small aeronautics company. He and the other co-conspirators schemed to steal proprietary trade secret information from a large aircraft company for use in developing and marketing their own technology, with the intent to market and sell that technology to the true owner’s competitors.   

U.S. District Court Judge R. Stan Baker will schedule sentencing for Martinez upon completion of a pre-sentence investigation by U.S. Probation Services.

Two of the conspirators are serving federal prison terms after pleading guilty in the case. Craig German, 60, of Kernersville, North Carolina, is serving 70 months in prison after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets, plus 20 months for Perjury and False Statements to a Government Agency for providing false information during testimony given in his first sentencing. Gilbert Basaldua, 63, of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, is serving 80 months in prison after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets and Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property.

The fourth conspirator, Joseph Pascua, 61, of Escondido, California, awaits sentencing after being found guilty at trial in February for Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets. His conviction is under appeal.

“Martinez was a part of a bold scheme to steal the secrets of a U.S. company rather than commit to putting in the money and hard work necessary to succeed on his own,” said Will Clarke, Senior Resident of FBI Atlanta's Savannah office. “As this conviction proves, the FBI is dedicated to identifying and prosecuting anyone who engages in illegal and deceptive practices to steal protected information.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Darron J. Hubbard and Senior Litigation Counsel Jennifer G. Solari. 


Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422

Updated August 21, 2023

Intellectual Property
Press Release Number: 63-23