Public Safety

Iowa man convicted of stealing DuPont trade secrets

Faces up to 15 years in federal prison

CEDAR RAPIDS — An Iowa man admitted Wednesday to stealing trade secrets from DuPont and lying to federal agents when questioned about the information.

Josh Harry Isler, 55, of St. Ansgar, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of theft of trade secrets and one count of making a false material statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

During the plea hearing, Isler admitted to copying or downloading information from DuPont, which has facilities in Cedar Rapids, from his home in August 2013. He also admitted to knowing the information was proprietary and contained trade secrets of DuPont.

Isler admitted that he took the information to benefit from it or that another would benefit from it, and he knew his actions would harm DuPont.    

Court documents show while Isler was employed by Dupont during August 2013 and after accepting an offer of employment with a competitor in the ethanol fuel enzyme business, he stole the trade secrets. Isler transferred “hundreds” of DuPont’s electronic files to an external storage device, according to the information.

Isler retained the files in his new job and transferred some to his new employer, according to the information.

During the hearing, Isler also admitted to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents Nov. 8, 2013. He denied to agents that he downloaded the files.  

U.S. Chief Magistrate C.J. Williams told Isler he faces up to 15 years in federal prison on both charges and up to a fine of $500,000. Isler also will be ordered to pay restitution to any victims, he added.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Murphy said he wasn’t against Isler remaining free on conditions pending sentencing.

Williams said the previous conditions would remain pending sentencing, which will not be set until a presentencing investigation report is complete. l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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