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Indian engineer jailed in US for stealing trade secrets

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New York (Oct 17, 2014): A 38-year-old Indian engineer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay USD 32,000 in restitution for stealing trade secrets from two global medical technology firms based in the US state of New Jersey.

Ketankumar Maniar, a former New Jersey resident had previously pleaded guilty before US District Judge Joel Pisano to an information charging him with two counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets for his own economic benefit. Maniar has been in custody since his arrest in June, 2013.

In addition to the prison term, Pisano ordered Maniar to pay over USD 32,000 in restitution and ordered him to forfeit items used for his crimes, including computers and storage devices.

According to documents filed in the case, Maniar worked as an engineer at medical technology manufacturer C R Bard's Salt Lake City facility and was responsible for developing molding processes and specifications for catheters, ports and other medical products.

He later worked as a staff engineer at another medical technology manufacturer Becton and Dickinson where he helped manufacture pre-fillable syringes and pen injectors.

Through his work at the two companies, Maniar was able to steal secret information related to the products, including Bard's development of the first implantable port used for power injection of pharmaceutical drugs throughout the body.

Maniar also had access to secret information related to a self-administered disposable pen injector still under development by BD and not yet available for commercial sale.

Maniar admitted he stole the trade secrets that he kept after his resignation from those companies.

He downloaded numerous files containing the companies' product information from his work computers onto multiple computer storage devices, including external hard drives and thumb drives. He also used his work e-mail accounts to forward trade secrets to his personal e-mail accounts.

In June 2013, FBI agents searched Maniar's rental car and the New Jersey hotel room he stayed in while planning a move back to India. Agents seized, among other things, at least one hard drive containing the trade secrets.