GE employee charged with stealing company’s trade secrets

August 1, 2018 GMT

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say an engineer at General Electric’s upstate New York turbine manufacturing plant has been charged with stealing the company’s trade secrets.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Wednesday 55-year-old Xiaoqing Zheng (JOW’-shing zehng) removed electronic files with company trade secrets involving its turbine technologies and hid data files in a digital photograph of a sunset. Prosecutors say he then emailed the picture to his email account.

FBI agents took Zheng away in handcuffs earlier Wednesday at his home in Niskayuna (nihs-kee-YOO’-nuh), 10 miles (16 kilometers) northwest of Albany.

The neighboring city of Schenectady (skeh-NEHK’-ta-dee) is home to Boston-based GE’s power division, which makes turbines.

During a brief court appearance Zheng was ordered detained. He’s scheduled to return to court Thursday, when he’s expected to get a lawyer.

GE says it has cooperated in the FBI investigation.