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Sat, Aug 26, 2023

Fourth Conspirator Found Guilty of Aerospace Industrial Espionage

California Man Awaits Sentencing

A California man has been found guilty of conspiracy to steal aircraft design and testing information as part of a plot devised for purpose of hastening the development and regulatory approval of a third-party’s aircraft technology.

Following a five-day trial in the U.S. District Court in Savannah, Georgia, Juan Martinez, 53, of Yorba Linda, California, was convicted on one count of Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets—so stated U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Jill E. Steinberg.

Martinez faces a statutory penalty of up to ten-years in prison, substantial financial penalties and restitution, and up to three-years of supervised release upon completion of any prison term.

The U.S. Federal judicial system grants no paroles.

Steinberg stated: “The conspirators in this case schemed to abuse a position of trust inside a major company in the Southern District of Georgia in order to steal proprietary engineering information to provide an unfair advantage to competing products. We commend the hard work of our law enforcement partners in bringing this investigation and prosecution to a successful conclusion.”

Martinez, a contractor functioning as a technical lead for a small aeronautics company, and his co-conspirators set out to illegally appropriate proprietary technical data belonging to a major aeronautical concern. The conspirators, according to court documents, sought to ply the stolen data to the development of derivative technologies they intended to sell, subsequently, as their own.

Upon completion of a pre-sentencing investigation, U.S. District Court Judge R. Stan Baker will schedule Martinez’s sentencing hearing.

Two of Martinez’s co-conspirators are currently serving federal prison terms after pleading guilty in the case. Craig German, 60, of Kernersville, North Carolina, is serving seventy-months in prison after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets, plus twenty-months for Perjury and False Statements to a Government Agency. German, during testimony given in his first sentencing, provided false information. Gilbert Basaldua, 63, of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, is serving eighty-months in prison after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets and Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property.

A fourth conspirator, Joseph Pascua, 61, of Escondido, California, is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty in a February trial of Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets. Pascua’s conviction is under appeal.

FBI Savannah Office senior resident Will Clarke remarked: “Martinez was a part of a bold scheme to steal the secrets of a U.S. company rather than commit to putting in the money and hard work necessary to succeed on his own. As this conviction proves, the FBI is dedicated to identifying and prosecuting anyone who engages in illegal and deceptive practices to steal protected information.”

The described case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Darron J. Hubbard and Senior Litigation Counsel Jennifer G. Solari.

FMI: www.fbi.gov

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