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updated: 7/3/2011 11:01 PM

Libertyville man charged in trade secrets theft

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A 49-year-old Libertyville man has been charged with felony theft of trade secrets while employed as a senior software engineer with Chicago-based CME Group, according to the FBI.

FBI special agents took Chunlai Yang, of the 15600 block of West Birchwood Lane, into custody Friday at his office. He was ordered held without bond and is being housed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago until his next court date July 6, according to a statement from the FBI.

Authorities say Yang, a naturalized U.S. citizen and Chinese national who worked at CME Group since 2000 and wrote computer code, downloaded thousands of files to his computer and copied some to removable storage devices.

Yang was in email contact with the assistant director for the Logistics and Trade Bureau for the Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone and sent a document containing protected source code and proprietary information, the release stated.

Yang and two individuals were in the process of starting a business that proposes to increase trade volume for a chemical electronic trading market in China, according to the criminal complaint filed against him.

He was booked on a July 7 flight from Chicago to China.

If convicted, Yang faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.