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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jury Convicts Christian County, Kentucky Man For Stealing Trade Secrets From His Former Employer

PADUCAH, KY– A Christian County, Kentucky man was convicted by a federal jury for stealing trade secrets announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

Defendant Phillip Lee Groves, was convicted on April 11, 2014, following a ten-day trial, for stealing trade secret information owned by White Drive Products, Inc., located in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Groves stole the trade secret information while employed by the manufacturing company.

The theft took place between November 30, 2007 and September 22, 2008. At trial, the United States presented evidence that proved defendant Groves, without authorization, copied and transferred onto a USB portable hard drive approximately 30,000 files on February 22d and February 27th, 2008, which Groves intended to use as part of his employment with a White Drive Competitor. On May 5, 2008, defendant Groves resigned his job with White Drive Products, Inc., and on May 12, 2008, Groves began employment with the competitor.

Defendants Gregory Lee Wampler and Eric Dale Tinderholt were acquitted of charges by the jury.

Defendant Groves faces no more than 40 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $1,000,000. He will be sentenced by Senior District Judge Thomas B. Russell on July 23, 2014 at 11:00 AM in Paducah.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marisa Ford and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Updated December 15, 2014