A federal court in Minneapolis, Minn. found Aaron Khieu guilty on 1 felony count of stealing a trade secret after he pleaded guilty to a single count of stealing trade secrets in April. Federal court judge Patrick Schiltz said the sentence will serve as a deterrent to others.
“The defendant, in a nutshell, stole U.S.-developed high technology, and had every intention of taking it to a foreign country. The government emphatically believes that a sentence would be wholly inappropriate if it did not include as one of its components a significant period of incarceration,” prosecutors wrote in court documents.
Khieu worked for Boston Scientific at its Maple Grove, Minn., facility as an engineer working on new catheter products, according to court documents. Khieu allegedly stole more than 100 documents covering the specs for Boston Scientific’s Sapphire and Mustang catheters, plus the documentation covering an as-yet unreleased product, according to the indictment. The name of the 3rd catheter is still under seal, according to the documents.
The grand jury accused Khieu of planning to use the stolen trade secrets he transferred to a thumb drive to start a new medical device company in Vietnam called Snowflake Medical, which would sell a catheter copied from the Boston Scientific devices called the Snowcat. Khieu allegedly went so far as to meet with potential investors in 2012 in Minnetonka, Minn., telling them of a recent trip to Vietnam where he met with physicians and hospital administrators, according to court records.
Khieu initially pleaded not guilty and asked the court to delay the jury trial, slated for Dec. 9, until April 13, saying a continuance was “necessitated by the scope and complexity of the charges and discovery in the present case,” according to the documents. An expert witness estimated it would take 3 months to review the discovery materials, Khieu said in a court filing.