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University of Virginia researcher charged with theft of trade secrets

(KTUU)
Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 3:58 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - A Chinese national conducting research at the University of Virginia was arrested Friday and charged with two federal crimes, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

Haizhou Hu, 34, is charged with theft of trade secrets and accessing a computer without authorization, or exceeding authorization to obtain information from a protected computer.

According to court documents, investigators first became aware of the suspect when he tried to board a flight to China at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport August 25.

A screening conducted by authorities at the airport showed, according to investigators, he was in possession of “bio-inspired research simulation software code that he was not authorized to possess,” and which represented the result of “years of research and resources in its development by members of the University of Virginia academic community.”

The suspect has been in the United States conducting research into bio-mimics and fluid dynamics.

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