CLEVELAND (March 22, 2012)—A former researcher for Bridgestone Americas Inc. has been arrested on suspicion of theft of trade secrets and making false statements, according to a criminal complaint.
Xiaorong Wang, 50, was scheduled to appear before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio today.
According to the court affidavit, Bridgestone fired Wang in April 2010 for sending inappropriate emails to colleagues. The same day his employment was terminated, Wang spent several hours in Bridgestone's Akron media room, burning CDs of computer files containing sensitive and proprietary information, the affidavit alleges.
One of the CDs contained a power point presentation on new developments in racing tire polymers, the affidavit said. Others contained production formulations for micelle polymers, an analytical study of strain-induced crystallization and a power point presentation on the development of guayule polymers, it said.
When questioned by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in March 2012, Wang said he burned nine CDs worth of material that day but took home only three CDs that contained pictures of his family. In fact, the affidavit said, he took home all nine CDs, including six that contained Bridgestone research information.