KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Two scientists from China have been indicted on federal charges accusing them of stealing seeds developed by a U.S. bioscience company and giving the seeds to members of a visiting delegation from China.
A federal grand jury in Kansas indicted Weiqiang Zhang, an agricultural seed breeder at Ventria Bioscience's facility in Junction City, and Wengui Yan, a U.S. Department of Agriculture research geneticist in Arkansas, on one count each of conspiracy to steal trade secrets and theft of trade secrets.
Zhang and Yan were initially charged in a federal complaint last week with conspiracy to steal trade secrets. They're both in custody. Their lawyers didn't immediately return calls seeking comment Friday.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection confiscated the seeds from the delegation before they flew home to China in August.