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Former IBM Worker Charged With Economic Espionage

A former IBM software developer, Xu Jiaqiang, has been charged with stealing valuable, proprietary software from the Armonk-based company. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Xu Jiaqiang is charged with stealing valuable, proprietary software from IBM, where he previously worked. Photo Credit: United States Attorney's Office

A former software developer at Armonk-based IBM faces additional federal charges accusing him of economic espionage, prosecutors said.

Xu Jiaqiang stole computer source codes to benefit the National Health and Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China as detailed in a superseding six-count indictment, according to this announcement by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Xu was initially arrested by the FBI in White Plains last December after being charged with one count of theft of trade secrets -- on which he pleaded not guilty. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday at noon on the new charges before U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth M. Karas in White Plains.

IBM declined to comment on the case.

The six-count indictment accuses Xu of stealing and converting the Armonk-based company’s source code for a piece of proprietary software for his own use. It says he then planned to use it to help the Chinese agency between November 2014 and December 2015.

In a press statement, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “As alleged, Xu Jiaqiang is charged with stealing valuable, proprietary software from his former employer, an American company, that he intended to share with an agency within the Chinese government. Economic espionage not only harms victim companies that have years or even decades of work stolen, but it also crushes the spirit of innovation and fair play in the global economy."

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