New York: An Indian engineer pleaded guilty to stealing trade secrets from two global medical technology companies based in New Jersey and faces upto 20 years in prison when sentenced.
Ketankumar Maniar (37) admitted before US District Judge Joel Pisano in Trenton federal court on Wednesday to an information charging him with two counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets for his own economic benefit, US Attorney Paul Fishman announced.
Maniar has been in custody since his June 2013 arrest. The theft of trade secrets charges are each punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to USD 250,000. His sentencing is scheduled for September this year.
According to documents filed in the case, Maniar worked as an engineer at medical technology manufacturer C R Bard`s Salt Lake City facility and was responsible for developing molding processes and specifications for catheters, ports and other medical products. He later worked as a staff engineer at another medical technology manufacturer Becton and Dickinson where he helped manufacture pre-fillable syringes and pen injectors.
Through his work at the two companies, he was able to steal secret information related to the products, including Bard`s development of the first implantable port used for power injection of pharmaceutical drugs throughout the body. Maniar also had access to secret information related to a self-administered disposable pen injector still under development by BD and not yet available for commercial sale.
He admitted he stole the trade secrets that he kept after his resignation from those companies. He downloaded numerous files containing the companies` product information from his work computers onto multiple computer storage devices, including external hard drives and thumb drives. He also used his work e-mail accounts to forward trade secrets to his personal e-mail accounts. In June 2013, FBI agents searched his rental car and the New Jersey hotel room he stayed in while planning a move back to India. Agents seized, among other things, at least one hard drive containing the trade secrets.