The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has accused a Chinese Apple employee of attempting to steal trade secrets from the Cupertino computing giant.
According to The Verge, the FBI has charged Chinese citizen Jizhong Chen with trade secret theft that began when he was hired by Apple as a hardware engineer.
This is the second time the FBI has charged an Apple employee with attempting to steal secrets about the company’s autonomous car project.
Chen was brought into the fold of Project Titan during his time with Apple’s autonomous car division. Once there, he allegedly began taking photos of the lab and backing up confidential files to external hard drives, according to The Verge.
Chen was placed on a “performance improvement plan” near the end of his time at Apple, before finding another job at an unnamed Chinese self-driving car company.
He was then arrested one day before he was scheduled to fly back to China. Chen reportedly told Apple that he planned on visiting his sick father.
Chen is potentially looking at 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 USD.
Source: The Verge