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3 found guilty in Savannah of trading aircraft de-icing designs to competitor

?Photo from U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Georgia of Savannah CourthouseA California man awaits sentencing after he was found guilty of conspiracy to steal trade secrets. There were three defendants in the conspiracy to steal proprietary information, planning to speed the process for the development and testing of an aircraft de-icing design and sell it to a competitor. The three had planned to use trade secrets for profit by using the stolen information to receive FAA certification quicker and then selling the designs to a competing aircraft company. "Manufacturers spend millions of dollars and countless hours of employee work time to research, design and develop unique products," said U.S. Attorney David H. Estes, for the Southern District of Georgia. "Joseph Pascua and his co-conspirators attempted to shortcut this process by stealing valuable proprietary information to benefit a competitor - and they're being held accountable for this theft." U.S. Attorney Estes said.Original indictment in 2019 Joseph Pascua of Escondido, California faces a statutory sentence of up to ten years in prison and financial penalties with up to three years of supervised release after finishing his prison term. He was the third defendant and was found guilty after his three-day trial. The other two defendants include Gilbert Basuldua of Hilton Head, South Carolina is serving just under seven years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal trade secrets and interstate transportation of stolen property and Craig German of Kernersville, North Carolina is serving almost eight years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal trade secrets. German was later found guilty on charges of perjury and false statements to a government agency for lying during the initial sentencing hearing. Pascua, Basaldua and German were originally indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2019. Pascua's case was initially dismissed and he was indicted separately in November 2021. He was found guilty after a three-day trial in Savannah, Georgia and now is waiting for his sentencing pending the completion of a pre-sentencing investigation by U.S. Probation Services. Basaldua worked as a numerical control engineer contractor for an aircraft manufacturer in the Southern District from October 2016 through November 2018. During this time, he and his conspirators, Pascua and German, conspired to steal aircraft wing designs and anti-icing testing information from multiple aircraft manufacturers, including where Basaldua worked. German was also employed at an aircraft manufacturing company and lied during a voluntary meeting with the FBI about his role in the conspiracy and again under oath. He was sentenced to additional 20 months of prison time after he was convicted of perjury for denying that he copied over 15,000 proprietary engineering drawings and documents onto a removable storage device. The case was investigated by the FBI before it was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer G. Solari and Darron J. Hubbard. "The FBI is committed to identifying and prosecuting those who engage in illegal and deceptive practices to steal trade secrets and protected information from companies who spend millions of dollars to develop it," said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. "As this extensive investigation comes to a close, let these convictions be a reminder that the FBI will not tolerate criminals that violate laws that protect companies and are in place to keep Americans safe."
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