Researcher who sold trade secrets to China gets 33 months

Posted at 10:41 AM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 10:41:32-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A former researcher at an Ohio children’s hospital has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for conspiring to steal trade secrets and sell them in China.

Yu Zhou, 51, was sentenced Monday. Federal authorities say he and his wife Li Chen, 48, who formerly lived in the Columbus suburb of Dublin, further agreed to pay $2.6 million in restitution and forfeit additional assets as a result of their convictions.

The pair conducted research in separate laboratories at Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Research Institute in Columbus, each for ten years.

Both have admitted to conspiring to steal exosome-related trade secrets and illegally transferring the information to China. Exosomes play a role in the research, identification and treatment of a range of medical conditions, including liver fibrosis, liver cancer and a condition found in premature babies known as necrotizing enterocolitis.

Chen received a 30-month prison sentence in February.