Couple ordered to pay $10 million for stealing trade secrets
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A judge has ordered a former employee of a mid-Missouri tech company and his wife to pay damages of $10 million for stealing trade secrets and partnering with a Chinese firm to sell knockoff products to unsuspecting buyers, including the U.S Navy.
Franklin County Associate Circuit Judge Robert Schollmeyer this month awarded Rolla-based Brewer Science $8.4 million in punitive damages and $1.6 million in compensatory damages.
The judge ruled against former Brewer Science engineer Hai Xuan and his wife, Hong Sheng, along with their company, Best Tools LLC.
Schollmeyer determined that the couple partnered with a Chinese manufacturer to make and distribute spin coater machines using Brewer Science technology.
The couple's whereabouts are unclear. They didn't show up at the court hearing and did not return messages seeking comment.