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NJ Chemist Pleads Guilty to Trade Theft

Peter Dazeley, Getty Images

A former research chemist in the New Jersey office of Sanofi-Aventis has pleaded guilty to one count of stealing trade secrets from her former employer.

Yuan Li of Somerset pleaded guilty in federal court in Trenton on Tuesday.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says the 29-year-old Chinese national made the secrets available for sale through the U.S. subsidiary of a Chinese chemicals company called Abby Pharmatech in which Li was a partner.

Li worked from 2006 through 2011 at Sanofi’s U.S. headquarters in Bridgewater, researching potential future drugs.

She admitted to accessing, downloading and making available for sale on Abby’s website internal Sanofi database information on compounds the company says were trade secrets.

Sanofi makes prescription drugs including Allegra, Pavix and Ambien.

Li is due to be sentenced April 23.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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