Ex-DuPont Worker Pleads Guilty In Trade Theft Case

Former DuPont employee will spend 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to theft of trade secrets and obstruction of justice.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A former DuPont Co. employee will spend 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to theft of trade secrets and obstruction of justice.

The sentence handed Michael Mitchell on Thursday in a Richmond court was slightly higher than the 16 months the government had recommended as part of a plea agreement.

Mitchell left DuPont in early 2006 and formed his own aramid fiber consulting business. He was accused of sending an e-mail with DuPont proprietary information to Kolon Industries, a Korea-based competitor to DuPont's Kevlar products.

Mitchell agreed to cooperate with investigators, and the FBI arranged a meeting in which Kolon officials flew to Richmond to obtain confidential technology. But Mitchell later told Kolon officials the meeting had been secretly recorded.

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