Lee, a naturalized American citizen who got his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Texas Tech, and a Masters of Science degree in Polymer Science from the University of Akron, pilfered 10 formulas from Avery, passing them to Four Pillars. An expert in methods to make pressure-sensitive adhesives stick to various surfaces under different conditions, Lee even used Avery Dennison labs to compare and test Four Pillars products against Avery's, then offered advice on how his adopted company could improve its wares to compete more effectively. This earned him additional income and the one thing he seemed to crave more than anything: respect. It also catapulted him into a heap of trouble, from which he tried to extricate himself by becoming a "flipper," someone who cooperates with the law to avoid prosecution or lessen any potential penalties.
Just before packing up to leave, Yang unwittingly mentioned an FBI sting hed heard about. Three months earlier, a Bureau operation run out of the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia resulted in the arrest of two Taiwanese nationals working for the Yuen Foong Paper Co. LTD, both who had ties to the Taiwanese government. They were charged with attempting to buy Bristol-Myers' process for bioengineering the anticancer drug Taxol for $400,000, a bargain if they had gotten away with it, since the information was worth billions. Not surprisingly, the case attracted a lot of media coverage in Taiwan.
America, Sally pointed out, now "has a special division to catch business spies."
"I am a very careful person," Yang said. "Whatever I get I get rid of immediately. I don't like to make phone calls, so [Sally] called you, but I wouldn't. When you come to Taipei it would be all right to meet you to talk. You can collect or get some new samples, or the new research trends. Whatever tomorrow's product, we have to develop it earlier...We do not need to copy the thing. We can modify it."
Yang looked around the room one last time: "We didn't forget anything?" he asked. They slipped out, and Lee drove them to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. He had played his part perfectly. He had been the model stool pigeon. Neither Yang nor Sally noticed the car trailing them to the airport, nor, when they arrived at the departures terminal, the two cars holding federal agents already parked by Continental Airlines.
Lee said his goodbyes, let them out of the car, dropped their luggage at the curbto the end, the dutiful servantand agents swooped in for the arrest.
From Spooked: Espionage in Corporate America, by Adam L. Penenberg, Marc Barry. © December 5, 2000 , Adam L. Penenberg, Marc Barry. Used by permission of the publisher
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