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ITMG Insider Threat Cases – April 11, 2022

Chinese Man Sentenced for Stealing Monsanto Trade Secret

A Chinese national who pleaded guilty earlier this year to stealing a trade secret from agribusiness giant Monsanto while he worked in Missouri has been sentenced to more than two years in prison.

In January, Xiang pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit economic espionage. Federal prosecutors said Xiang transferred a trade secret to a memory card and then attempted to take it to China for the benefit of the Chinese government.

A New Battlefront: Ukraine Resistance Includes Leaks of Russian Trade Secrets

In addition to conventional warfare, it was recently confirmed by an arm of the Ukraine Ministry of Defense that it hacked trade secrets from a Russian state nuclear utility, and then leaked the trade secrets to a public website to harm the utility’s commercial prospects. Such “hack and leak” operations have been done before by nation-affiliated hackers to attempt to influence political activities of other nations, but this may be the first operation of this type concerning technical trade secrets during warfare. Although the economic impact from this particular operation may be difficult to gauge at this time, this hack and leak of nation state-affiliated company trade secrets may be a sign of things to come in future armed conflicts.

Guinea-Conakry’s Former Prime Minister Arrested on Alleged Embezzlement Charges

Ibrahima Kassory Fofana served as prime minister under ex-president Alpha Condé from May 2018 until September 2021, when the army ousted the elected government in a coup.

According to lawyer Salifou Beavogui, Fofana along with former defence minister Mohamed Diane, ex-environment minister Oye Guilavogui and former hydrocarbons minister Zakaria Coulibaly “have been charged with embezzling public funds and put in prison.”

Jury Convicts Kansas Professor Accused of Hiding China Ties

A University of Kansas professor was found guilty this week of concealing ties to a Chinese government-linked university, and in a second case a Chinese national was sentenced to more than two years in prison for stealing agricultural trade secrets.

The professor was convicted of three counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement as part of a scheme to conceal an $80,000 a year contract with China’s Fuzhou University that he hid from both KU and the government.

Former Congressional Staffer Pleads Guilty to Theft of Public Funds

According to court documents, Sterling Carter, 24, of Glenwood, Georgia, was employed as the Director of Operations by a Member of Congress. In that position, Carter was responsible for managing the office’s budget and processing payroll and bonus payments for all employees in the office. Between November 2019 and January 2021, Carter submitted fraudulent paperwork which purported to authorize a higher salary and bonus payments for himself. Carter concealed this theft from the Congressperson and the office’s Chief of Staff by falsely representing, in both communications and a budget spreadsheet, that he was only being paid what he was legitimately owed. In total, Carter received $79,491.67 in unauthorized salary and bonus payments.

Woman Pleads Guilty for $43.8 Million COVID-19 Relief Fraud Scheme

According to court documents, Amanda J. Gloria, 45, of Altus, admitted that she conspired to submit at least 153 fraudulent PPP applications seeking a total of approximately $43.8 million on behalf of at least 111 entities between approximately May 2020 and June 2021. Gloria admitted that she falsified or aided and assisted with falsifying various information on these loan applications, including the number of employees, payroll expenses and documentation, and federal tax filings. Gloria then submitted or aided and assisted with the submission of the fraudulent PPP applications to financial institutions. In total, the recipient entities unlawfully obtained approximately $32.5 million in PPP funds. From those fraudulently obtained funds, Gloria personally received at least approximately $1.7 million.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 11th, 2022 at 3:53 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.