A former General Motors engineer, Shanshan Du and her husband Yu Qui have been charged with stealing hybrid technology secrets from the company and attempting to sell the same to China’s Chery Automobiles. US district Judge Marianne Battani has sentenced Du to one year and one day in prison while Qui will serve three years in prison. Qui’s term is longer due to the fact that he was convicted for fraud, obstruction of justice besides conspiracy and possession of trade secrets.
General Motors was striving to ensure that the couple received maximum sentence of 8 years but the court cited Du’s ill health and the 7 year gap between arrest and sentencing as causes for more moderate prison terms. The couple tried to steal these trade secrets between 2003 and 2006 and both are repentant for their actions with Qui taking the entire responsibility on his shoulders.
The couple who were found guilty in November last year, saw Qui also form his own company called Millennium Technology International back in 2005 through which he planned on selling this confidential information to Chery Automobiles, though this secret information never made it into the competitor’s hands.