Pa. Scientist Pleads Guilty in Trade Secrets Case

Tuesday, Jul 2, 2013  |  Updated 3:09 PM EDT
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Scientist Pleads Guilty in Trade Secrets Case

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A scientist working on solar cell technology has pleaded guilty to several counts of an indictment that charges he stole trade secrets from his employer and tried to take them to a competitor in China.

Forty-eight-year-old Tung Pham pleaded guilty in federal court in Philadelphia on Monday to seven counts of wire fraud.

Prosecutors say Pham stole product formulas from his former employer. The indictment says he misled the company about what he'd be doing at his new firm in order to escape a non-compete clause in his contract.

A judge ordered Pham to surrender his passport a few days before he was to leave for China to begin work for his new employer.

Pham faces a maximum sentence of 140 years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 6.

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