New trial date for Chinese national accused of stealing Phillips 66 trade secrets

For a second time, the federal trial of a 35-year old Chinese national charged with stealing trade secrets from Phillips 66 in Bartlesville has been postponed to a new date.

U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell on Monday ordered the new date for the trial of Hongjin Tan to be August 19, 2019. His decision came after a pretrial conference was held.

Judge Frizzell also ordered another pretrial conference to be held August 6. A deadline of August 12 was set for the filing of jury instructions, voir dire and trial briefs.

The case against Tan was originally set for May 20 following his arrest in December. Then in June, the case was re-set for July 22.

Tan was an employee of Phillips 66 and its battery development group in Bartlesville when he gave notice in December 2018 of his intention to resign. But as company management reviewed his computer communications, they discovered he had allegedly made unauthorized transmission of trade secrets and also had unauthorized possession of company manufacturing secrets.

The FBI was notified and the investigation led to Tan’s indictment in January 2019.

In California, an electrical engineer who was a part-time professor at UCLA has been convicted of attempting to export sensitive military electronics to China. Yi-Chi Shih, 64, was convicted on 18 federal charges and could face a statutory maximum sentence of 219 years in prison.

Click here to read more in Newsweek.


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