Hongjin Tan, a 35 year old Chinese national and U.S. legal permanent resident, was arrested on Dec. 20 and charged with theft of trade secrets. Tan is alleged to have stolen the trade secrets from his employer, a U.S. petroleum company.
The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney Trent Shores for the Northern District of Oklahoma, and Special Agent in Charge Kathryn Peterson of the FBI Oklahoma City Field Office.
“The United States filed a criminal complaint against a Chinese national alleging the theft of intellectual property from a company with significant operations in Oklahoma,” said U.S. Attorney Shores. “The value of the trade secrets in this case is estimated to be more than $1 billion dollars. Theft of critical research, development, and other intellectual property harms the economic prosperity and security of the United States. My office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation will utilize all tools available to respond to these types of threats. We will protect Oklahomans and Oklahoma businesses by prosecuting those who violate the law.”
Hongjin Tan allegedly stole trade secrets related to a product worth more than $1 billion from his U.S.-based petroleum company employer, to use for the benefit of a Chinese company where he was offered employment, said Assistant Attorney General Demers. "The theft of intellectual property harms American companies and American workers. As our recent cases show, all too often these thefts involve the Chinese government or Chinese companies. The Department recently launched an initiative to protect our economy from such illegal practices emanating from China, and we continue to make this a top priority."