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ITMG Insider Threat Cases – January 11, 2021

Guilty Plea for Monsanto Insider to Economic Espionage Charges Cybersecurity

An imaging scientist within Monsanto’s Climate Corporation subsidiary was indicted by a grand jury this week for theft of trade secrets. Haitao Xiang, a Chinese national who was a member of the talent plan program, which China uses to identify and engage those with knowledge it has identified as strategically important, worked for the Monsanto subsidiary from 2008-2017.

The fact that the FBI was able to act on short notice is indicative of Xiang having come to the attention of Monsanto’s insider threat program. This may have occurred sometime prior to his resignation, or as a result of his resignation. Regardless, Monsanto contacted the FBI and provided sufficient information to permit the FBI to open a case, put eyes on Xiang, and stop him.

Former BMW Employee Charged with Corruption

Prosecutors in Munich have charged a former senior employee of BMW with corruption and of having defrauded the German carmaker of millions of euros, a court spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The man was charged with 18 counts of commercial corruption and 33 counts of breach of trust at the expense of the carmaker, a court spokesperson said, confirming a report in German magazine WirtschaftsWoche.

According to the Munich court, damages to BMW amounted to 2.7 million euros ($3.06 million).

Ex-GlaxoSmithKline Scientist Admits Stealing Trade Secrets for Chinese Company

According to an indictment, from 2012 to 2016, Xi and another GSK scientist, Yu Xue, stole confidential information from GSK about products that were under development and then provided the data for use by Renopharma.

Prosecutors said Xue, along with co-defendants Tao Li and Yan Mei, created Renopharma in Nanjing, China, to market and sell the stolen information as its own research and to obtain patents for Renopharma versions of GSK’s products.

Prosecutors said that Xi was married to Mei and in 2015 emailed a GSK document that provided a summary of GSK research into monoclonal antibodies.

The Defendant Admitted to Embezzling Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars from His Employer Following the Company Owner’s Death

According to filed plea documents and today’s plea hearing, from September 2019 to February 2021, Padua abused his senior finance position with his employer, identified in court documents as Trucking Company, and used falsified documents and improper accounting entries to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars. As part of the scheme, Padua admitted in court today that, following the Trucking Company owner’s death in October 2019, Padua forged the owner’s signature on a fake employment agreement Padua created and backdated to prior to the owner’s death. The fraudulent employment agreement purported to increase Padua’s compensation significantly through higher wages, bonuses, and life insurance benefits. As Padua admitted in court today, after he created the fake employment agreement, Padua received substantial compensation from the Trucking Company, to which he was not entitled.

Former Westlake Bank Teller Sentenced to Prison for Embezzling from Employer

According to court documents, Kumhall was employed as a bank teller at a Citizens Bank in Westlake, Ohio.  In addition to traditional teller responsibilities, Kumhall was responsible for ordering, receiving and inputting cash into the bank’s internal reporting system for the branch.

Court records state that on multiple occasions from September to December of 2020, Kumhall ordered a set amount of cash to be delivered to the branch.  However, after the delivery, Kumhall entered and reported an amount lower than what had been delivered into the bank’s internal reporting system.

Maine Woman Sentenced to 24 Months for Stealing Over $200,000 from Her Employer

According to court documents and statements made in court, Raylene Vaillancourt worked as the office manager for “Business A,” a limited liability company based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Vaillancourt was responsible for accounting and making payments to vendors.

Between at least April of 2009 and May of 2018, Vaillancourt embezzled money from Business A and its owner through various means, including: (a) making fraudulent checks drawn on Business A’s checking account; (b) making unauthorized transfers to her personal financial accounts for her personal expenses; and (c) making unauthorized online payments from Business A’s checking account to pay her personal credit card debt.  As part of Vaillancourt’s scheme, she altered Business A’s internal accounting records to conceal her embezzlement from her employer.  In total, Business A lost approximately $200,000 due to the defendant’s scheme.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 11th, 2022 at 5:08 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.