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Press Release

Third conspirator convicted at trial for stealing trade secrets from aircraft manufacturers

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Co-defendants already serving prison terms

SAVANNAH, GA:  The third defendant in a conspiracy to steal valuable proprietary information from aircraft manufacturers has been found guilty after a three-day trial.

Joseph Pascua, 60, of Escondido, Calif., awaits sentencing after a U.S. District Court jury found him guilty of Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Pascua faces a statutory sentence of up to 10 years in prison, along with substantial financial penalties, followed by up to three years of supervised release upon completion of any prison term.

There is no parole in the federal system.

“Manufacturers spend millions of dollars and countless hours of employee work time to research, design and develop unique products,” said U.S. Attorney Estes. “Joseph Pascua and his co-conspirators attempted to shortcut this process by stealing valuable proprietary information to benefit a competitor – and they’re being held accountable for this theft.”

As described at trial, Pascua was one of three defendants who schemed to speed the process for developing and testing an aircraft de-icing design by stealing proprietary information from an aircraft manufacturer. They planned to profit by using stolen information to expedite Federal Aviation Administration certification, and then selling the design to a competing aircraft company.

The three originally were indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2019; Pascua’s case initially was dismissed and he was indicted separately in November 2021. He was found guilty by a jury after a three-day trial in Savannah before U.S. District Court Judge R. Stan Baker, and now awaits sentencing upon completion of a pre-sentencing investigation by U.S. Probation Services.

Co-defendant Gilbert Basuldua, 63, of Hilton Head, S.C., is serving an 80-month sentence after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets and Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property, while Craig German, 60, of Kernersville, N.C., is serving a total of 90 months in prison after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets, and later being found guilty by a jury on charges of Perjury and False Statements to a Government Agency for lying during his initial sentencing hearing.

“The FBI is committed to identifying and prosecuting those who engage in illegal and deceptive practices to steal trade secrets and protected information from companies who spend millions of dollars to develop it,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “As this extensive investigation comes to a close, let these convictions be a reminder that the FBI will not tolerate criminals that violate laws that protect companies and are in place to keep Americans safe.”

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


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

Updated February 17, 2023

Intellectual Property
Release Number: 16-23