Feds drop industrial espionage case against Eli Lilly scientists

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 5, 2014)– The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana has decided, “in the interests of justice,” to drop an industrial espionage case against two Eli Lilly scientists.

Guoqing Cao and Shuyu Li were accused of stealing Lilly secrets regarding diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer medication research and giving them to a Chinese competitor. Two grand juries and three indictments later, the charges have been dropped.

Li was employed by Lilly at the time of the indictment. Cao was a former employee.

The case was brought during the tenure of U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett who has since resigned to run for Mayor of Indianapolis.

A Hogsett spokesman declined comment on the dismissal of the charges, referring to the U.S. Attorney for comment about any action taken on the case after the candidate’s resignation.

“The victim in this case has been notified of the government’s intention to move to dismiss all charges against both defendants,” reads the U.S. Attorney’s motion. “The defendants have no objection.”

The motion gives no indication of the government’s theory of the alleged crime or motive to dismiss the case.

Li spent 205 days incarcerated without bail, first in a Kentucky county jail and later in a Marion County work release center in lock down status.

The defendants claimed that they did not reveal Lilly secrets and had company permission to discuss any the research information.

Last spring, FBI Director James Comey visited Indianapolis and told reporters that the Bureau focuses on protecting the intellectual property of corporate citizens, such as Lilly, that are national and multi-national firms susceptible to theft of trade secrets.

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