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A federal jury found two men guilty Wednesday of economic espionage involving the theft and sale of a U.S. company’s technology to a competitor controlled by the Chinese government.

The jury returned the verdicts against Robert Maegerle and Walter Liew.

They were accused of stealing Delaware-based DuPont Co.’s method for making titanium oxide, a chemical that fetches $17 billion a year in sales worldwide and is used to whiten everything from cars to the middle of Oreo cookies.

A federal jury found two men guilty Wednesday of economic espionage involving the theft and sale of a U.S. company’s technology to a competitor controlled by the Chinese government.

Prosecutors said DuPont was unwilling to sell its method to China, so it was stolen and sent to a company called Pangang Group Co. Ltd., according to testimony during the diplomatically dicey proceedings. The jury heard six weeks of testimony.

Prosecutors alleged that Pangang’s factory is the only facility inside China known to be producing titanium oxide the DuPont way, which uses chlorination.



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