Former IBM employee sentenced to 5 years in prison after allegedly stealing code: 5 things to know

Jessica Kim Cohen - Print  | 

U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas in White Plains, N.Y., sentenced Jiaqiang Xu, a former IBM employee in China, to five years in prison Jan. 18 for allegedly stealing proprietary source code from the company, according to Reuters.

Here are five things to know about Mr. Xu's sentencing.

1. IBM was not identified by name in court documents. However, Mr. Xu, 32, worked as a systems software developer for IBM in China from 2010 to 2014, according to a LinkedIn profile cited by Reuters.

2. Prosecutors said Mr. Xu had access to the company's proprietary source code before he voluntarily resigned in 2014. The code was related to a clustered file system that facilitates computer performance.

3. Mr. Xu was arrested in late 2015 after a meeting with an undercover police officer at a hotel in White Plains. Authorities said they recorded him claiming to use IBM code to make software during the meeting.

4. Mr. Xu pleaded guilty to theft of a trade secret and economic espionage charges in May 2017.

5. Mr. Xu's attorney Leanne Marek and IBM did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

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