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A Canadian man residing in China has been accused of selling trade secrets from an electric car manufacturer.

According to American prosecutors, a Canadian residing in China stole trade secrets from a major U.S. electric car manufacturer in order to launch a competitive battery business.

Klaus Pflugbeil was detained Tuesday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York, for allegedly transmitting stolen trade secrets to an undercover agent acting as a businessperson.

Pflugbeil had traveled to Long Island to meet with a group of business persons “who in reality were undercover law enforcement agents,” according to a statement made by American prosecutors on Tuesday.

According to American prosecutors, a Canadian residing in China stole trade secrets from a major U.S. electric car manufacturer in order to launch a competitive battery business.

Klaus Pflugbeil was detained Tuesday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York, for allegedly transmitting stolen trade secrets to an undercover agent acting as a businessperson.

Pflugbeil had traveled to Long Island to meet with a group of business persons “who in reality were undercover law enforcement agents,” according to a statement made by American prosecutors on Tuesday.

As alleged, the defendants set up a company in China, blatantly stole trade secrets from an American company that are important to manufacturing electric vehicles,” said Breon Peace, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Tesla did not respond to the US federal court case promptly.

Prosecutors believe that Pflugbeil and Shao, who is still at large, used stolen trade secrets to establish an unidentified corporation with operations in China, Brazil, Germany, and Canada.

Pflugbeil is listed as a worldwide president of Hife Systems Ltd. on the company’s website, which states that it works in four countries.

Jay Shaw, a business unit manager for Hife Systems in Ontario, declined to comment on Pflugbeil’s arrest Wednesday.

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Prosecutors claim in the lawsuit that Pflugbeil was “publicly marketing” the company’s products as an alternative to Tesla via direct communications on LinkedIn. According to the lawsuit, Pflugbeil traveled from Hong Kong to New York for what he thought was a business meeting “to finalize negotiations about the sale of a battery assembly line to be used by a business on Long Island.”

According to American prosecutors, Pflugbeil may face up to ten years in jail if convicted.

American prosecutors claim a Canadian residing in China stole trade secrets from a prominent U.S.-based electric car manufacturer to set up a competing battery business.

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