BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A retired Dow Chemical Co. research scientist has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for his conviction on charges that he stole trade secrets from Dow's Plaquemine plant and sold them to companies in China.
The Advocate reports 75-year-old Wen Chyu Liu, also known as David Liou, was sentenced Wednesday U.S. District Judge James J. Brady.
"I am an honest man, and I could never knowingly break the law," Liu, who also was convicted on a charge of perjury, told Brady.
"I made a bad decision to be partners with Mr. (John W.) Wheeler and Mr. (Keith A.) Stoecker," Liu added.
Wheeler and Stoecker, former employees at Dow's Plaquemine plant, pleaded guilty to related charges in the case and testified against Liu. Wheeler was sentenced to one year of probation. Stoecker was sentenced to two years of probation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey R. Amundson told Brady that Liu "refuses to accept responsibility for what he did."
The prosecutor added that Dow held the patent for production of Tyrin CPE, a chlorinated polyethylene polymer used in vinyl siding, plastic jackets for electrical wire, flexible automotive and industrial hoses, as well as other products before Liu sold the firm's secrets for approximately $600,000.
"He (Liu) told his story at trial," Amundson said. "It was just, at every turn, a lie."
Frank Holthaus, attorney for Liu, asked Brady to go below sentencing guidelines and place Liu on probation.
Holthaus also disputed Dow's estimate that Liu caused the firm to lose more than $250 million. And Holthaus said Liu's case had nothing to do with Dow's decision to move part of its Plaquemine plant to Germany.
The judge said he would hold a second hearing at a later date to determine how much restitution must be paid to Dow.
But Brady also told Liu: "You're going to lose whatever (assets) you have."