An American researcher confirmed stealing scientific secrets from a hospital and selling them to China. Li Chen, the Ohio resident, pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal scientific trade secrets and conspiring to commit wire fraud concerning the identification, research, and treatment of a wide range of pediatric medical conditions.
Chen and her husband alleged to be the co-conspirator Yu Zhou, 49, who worked in medical research labs of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Research Institute for about a decade. The couple was arrested in California back in July 2019 and charged with conspiring to steal a minimum of five trade secrets associated with the research on the cellular components referred to as exosomes.
Chen conspired to hack and then monetize one of the trade secrets by selling exosome “isolation kits.” The 46-year-old then set up a new company in China to sell the kits.
In return for the secrets, Chen extracted the benefits from the Chinese government, including from the National Natural Science Foundation, China, and the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs.
The US Department of Justice has confirmed that “Chen also applied to multiple Chinese government talent plans, a method used by China to transfer foreign research and technology to the Chinese government.”