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Lucent trade secrets case extended

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The charges against three Chinese men accused of industrial espionage against Lucent were yesterday extended to include allegations of spying against four other companies.

The trio, including two former scientists at Lucent's headquarters, now face 24 charges: the original conspiracy charge, 14 counts of possessing trade secrets, and nine allegations of wire fraud, AP reports.

Prosecuters claim former Lucent scientists Hai Lin, and Kai Xu hatched a plot with former Lucent consultant Yong-Qing Cheng to become the "the Cisco of China" by stealing data related to Lucent's PathStar system. A "substantial amount of the PathStar source code" was sent to Datang Telecom Technology of Beijing, it is alleged.

The new indictments allege that trade secrets were stolen from companies that licensed software to Lucent or sold circuit boards used in PathStar, as well as Lucent itself.

Telenetworks, a unit of Next Level Communication; NetPlane Systems, a subsidiary of Mindspeed Technologies; Hughes Software Systems and Intel subsidiary ZiaTech were named in the indictment as planed victims of the conspiracy, the news agency reports.

The conspiracy charge could put the men in jail for up to 10 years. This charge, as well as each of the trade secret possession and wire fraud counts, carries a $250,000 fine. Convictions on the wire fraud charges can be punished by up to five years in prison.

The three men deny all the charges.

Their trial is scheduled to begin on September 24. ®

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