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US charges two men with stealing Tesla trade secrets| GuyWhoKnowsThings


A Canadian living in China was arrested Tuesday and held in New York after he and a business partner were accused of trying to sell secret battery manufacturing technology belonging to Tesla.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn asked a judge to hold Klaus Pflugbeil without bail on a charge of theft of trade secrets. He was arrested after meeting with undercover agents Tuesday on Long Island and attempting to sell them technology used to produce battery parts, the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York said in a statement.

The second man, Yilong Shao, 47, a Chinese national, remains at large, prosecutors said. A public defender representing Pflugbeil, 58, did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday night.

Court documents identified the company whose secrets were stolen only as “a leading U.S.-based manufacturer of electric vehicles and battery power systems.” That description and other details in court documents match Tesla.

Pflugbeil and Shao are former employees of Hibar Systems, a Canadian company that sold battery manufacturing technology that Tesla acquired in 2019. According to prosecutors, they had access to drawings and other documents that allowed others to copy the manufacturing process.

After Hibar's sale, the men formed a company that attempted to sell the company's technology through ads on Google, posts on LinkedIn and a YouTube video, according to court documents. They knew the technology was patented, prosecutors said.

Undercover agents met with Shao at a trade show in Las Vegas in September and expressed interest in purchasing the information, which Tesla had confirmed was secret. The agents persuaded Mr. Pflugbeil to visit New York by telling him they wanted to reach a deal.

The arrest demonstrates that the government “will prosecute those who engage in the theft of trade secrets that places American companies at a competitive disadvantage, undermines innovation and creates a potential national security risk,” said Breon Peace, the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York. , he said in a statement.


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