Man Arrested in Sting for Stealing Employer's Computer Code

  • Undercover agents met with Xu Jiaqiang in hotel yesterday
  • Xu faces up to 10 years if convicted of trade secret theft

A software developer was charged with stealing source code from his former employer, an unidentified computer company, and attempting to sell it to other firms. 

Xu Jiaqiang, 29, was arrested after trying yesterday to sell software that included stolen source code to two undercover agents at a hotel in White Plains, New York, federal prosecutors said in a statement announcing the charges.

If convicted, Xu faces as long as 10 years in prison for theft of trade-secret theft, prosecutors said Tuesday. The charges were filed in federal court in White Plains.

According to court records, Xu appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith McCarthy Tuesday and remains in custody. His lawyer, Jason Ser of the Federal Defenders of New York, didn’t immediately return voice-mail and e-mail messages seeking comment on the arrest.

A LinkedIn profile in Xu’s name reflects his employment by International Business Machines Corp. from November 2010 to July 2014 as a system software developer in its Beijing branch, information that overlaps with allegations in the criminal complaint. The complaint describes the “victim company” as a maker of software for some of the world biggest supercomputers. The source code allegedly stolen is part of software that generates tens of millions of dollars in revenue for the unnamed company each year.

Edward Barbini, a spokesman for Armonk, New York-based IBM, declined to comment on the case or whether Xu worked there. Prosecutors declined to identify the company.

The case is U.S. v. Xu, 12-mj-04388, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (White Plains).

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