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It was almost a perfect getaway, but a former Apple employee was captured at the airport just before boarding a flight to China, after apparently stealing some of the tech giant’s secret plans for self-driving cars.
The ex-employee, Xiaolang Zhang, had been a person of interest, already interviewed several times by Apple, and also by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The article goes on to state the following:
When he booked a last-minute flight to China on July 7, Zhang was arrested at the San Jose International Airport by FBI agents and has been charged with theft of trade secrets, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in federal court in San Jose.
Apple’s investigation found that Zhang on April 28 and 29 had downloaded confidential technical documents about self driving car prototypes, which were subsequently downloaded onto his wife’s laptop, authorities say.
Surveillance footage and badge swipe records also found that Zhang had entered Apple’s autonomous vehicle labs on April 28 and left with a keyboard, some cables and a large box, the complaint chargers. This activity took place at a time when he was on paternity leave, which is against company policy.
During an interview with the FBI on June 27, Zhang admitted to everything he had told Apple. When the agency learned that Zhang planned to fly to Beijing, with a final destination of Hangzhou, China on Hainan Airlines, the FBI apprehended him at the airport as he passed through a security checkpoint, the complaint says.
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