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Originally published October 5 2007

Coca-cola workers convicted in conspiracy plot to sell formula secrets to Pepsi

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Three employees of The Coca-Cola Company have been convicted by a federal court on charges of conspiracy to steal and sell the company's private trade secrets. According to CNN, "all three are charged with wire fraud and unlawfully stealing and selling trade secrets from the Coca-Cola Co."

Ibrahim Dimson, 31, and Joya Williams, 42, were sentenced on May 23 to five and eight years in prison, respectively. They were both also ordered to pay $40,000 in restitution to the company. Their codefendant, Edmund Duhaney, 43, has yet to be sentenced.

According to the U.S. District Attorney's office, Coke rival PepsiCo approached the FBI in May 2006, saying that it had been offered inside information from the Coca-Cola Company. The FBI then launched a sting operation, with undercover agents posing as Pepsi employees in order to snare whoever was trying to sell trade secrets.

Dimson allegedly gave FBI agents 14 pages worth of secret Coca-Cola documents, which had been prominently marked as "classified" in exchange for $5,000 and an agreement that PepsiCo would purchase a confidential sample of an upcoming Coke product for another $75,000.

"I can even provide actual products and packaging of certain products, that no eye has seen, outside of maybe five top execs," read a letter that Dimson is said to have written. "I need to know today if I have a serious partner or not."

According to the U.S. Attorney, Dimson, Duhaney and Williams hoped to be paid $1.5 million for all the trade secrets that they had stolen. Undercover FBI agents paid them a total of $35,000 before the arrests were made in July.

Commenting on the case, U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias said, "As the market becomes more global, the need to protect intellectual property becomes even more vital to protecting American companies and our economic growth."

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