Former Ohio hospital researcher sentenced for stealing trade secrets

A man who previously worked in medical research labs at Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide Children's Hospital's research institute was sentenced April 19 to 33 months in prison for conspiring to steal trade secrets and sell them to China, according to the Department of Justice

Yu Zhou, of Dublin, Ohio, pleaded guilty in December to stealing trade secrets related to exosome isolation. Mr. Zhou and his wife, Li Chen, started a company in China to sell exosome "isolation kits" without the hospital's knowledge, according to prosecutors. 

"Yu Zhou willingly took part in the Chinese Government's long-term efforts to steal American intellectual property," Acting U.S. Attorney Vipal J. Patel for the Southern District of Ohio said in a news release. "Zhou and his wife executed a scheme over the course of several years to set up businesses in China, steal American research, and profit from doing so."

Ms. Chen was sentenced in February to 30 months in prison for her role in the scheme. 

The couple was arrested in July 2019 after resigning from Nationwide Children's. 

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