Former Ohio hospital researcher sentenced for stealing trade secrets

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A former medical researcher at Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide Children's Research Institute was sentenced Feb. 1 to 30 months in prison for conspiring to steal trade secrets concerning the identification and treatment of pediatric medical conditions, according to the Department of Justice

Li Chen was sentenced after pleading guilty in July to stealing trade secrets related to exosomes and exosome isolation from Nationwide Children's Research Institute for her own personal financial gain. Ms. Chen worked in a research lab at the institute from 2008 until 2018. 

According to court documents, Ms. Chen conspired with her husband, Yu Zhou, to steal and monetize one of the trade secrets by creating and selling exosome "isolation kits." She allegedly started a company in China to sell the kits, according to the Justice Department. 

In addition to the prison term, Ms. Chen will forfeit approximately $1.45 million and pay $2.6 million in restitution. 

Mr. Zhou has also pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing. 

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