UVA researcher charged with theft of trade secrets

The University of Virginia Rotunda in Charlottesville
The University of Virginia Rotunda in Charlottesville(WVIR)
Updated: Aug. 28, 2020 at 5:52 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Authorities have arrested a Chinese national on federal charges after he allegedly took trade secrets from the University of Virginia.

Officials announced Friday, August 28, that 34-year-old Haizhou Hu is charged with accessing a computer without authorization, or exceeding authorization to obtain information from a protected computer and theft of trade secrets.

Hu had been conducting research on bio-mimics and fluid dynamics at UVA. According to court documents, investigators first became aware of Hu on Tuesday, August 25, when he attempted to board a flight to China at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

“A routine screening conducted by authorities revealed that Hu was alleged to be in possession of bio-inspired research simulation software code that he was not authorized to possess, and which represented the result of years of research and resources in its development by members of the University of Virginia academic community,” Brian McGinn with the U.S. Department of Justice said in Friday’s release.

The investigation of the case is being conducted by the FBI.

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