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Chinese citizen pleads guilty to theft of trade secrets

Federal prosecutors say a Chinese national employed by a US petroleum company has pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing trade secrets from his employer.

Authorities say 35-year-old Hongjin Tan pleaded guilty on Tuesday in federal court in Tulsa to the theft of a trade secret, unauthorized transmission of a trade secret and unauthorized possession of a trade secret.

A plea agreement calls for Tan to serve up to two years in prison and pay restitution of USD 150,000.

Tan’s attorney, Ryan Ray, hasn’t returned a telephone message seeking comment. Court documents indicate Tan worked for Phillips 66 when he stole secrets related to the development of ‘next-generation battery technologies’ worth more than USD 1 billion. Sentencing is set for February 2020.

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