TWO PLEAD GUILTY TO FIRST THEFT OF TRADE SECRETS
CASE PROSECUTED IN MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
March 15, 2001
TAMPA -- The United States Attorney announced today that JOLENE HILDA NEAT
RECTOR and STEVEN MICHAEL SNYDER have entered guilty pleas to a two count
indictment charging conspiracy to convey trade secrets and the substantive
offense of conveying trade secrets. SNYDER entered his guilty pleas before
Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Jenkins on Friday, March 2, 2001. RECTOR entered
her guilty pleas before Magistrate Judge Jenkins yesterday, March 13, 200l.
RECTOR was originally indicted on the same two charges on April 27, 2000.
Both RECTOR and SNYDER were then indicted on both charges by a superseding
indictment handed down on July 13, 2000. The original indictment against RECTOR
will be dismissed at her sentencing which is expected to take place near the
end of May or the first of June, 2001.
The superseding indictment charges RECTOR, age 44 and now living in Kentucky,
and SNYDER, age 35 and living in Pinellas County, Florida, with one count
of conspiring to convey trade secrets, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1832(a)(5),
and one count of conveying trade secrets, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
1832(a)(2) and 2.
The facts, as agreed to by both defendants in their plea agreements with United
States, establish that at some time prior to August 20, 1999, the defendant,
JOLENE HILDA NEAT RECTOR, obtained numerous pieces of proprietary information
owned by R.P.Scherer, Inc. (RPS) from a friend(s) in Florida. This information
included gel formulas, fill formulas, shell weights, and experimental production
order (EPO) data. This information was known by the defendant to be proprietary
information and trade secrets of RPS. RPS is a leading international developer
and manufacturer of drug, supplement, cosmetic and recreational product delivery
systems. RPSs proprietary advanced drug delivery systems improve the
efficacy of drugs by regulating their dosage, rate of absorption and place
of release. RPS customers include global and regional manufacturers of prescription
and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products, nutritional supplements, cosmetics
and recreational products such as paint balls. RPS products are produced for
and placed in interstate and foreign commerce.
On a date occurring between August 1 and August 20, 1999, RECTOR requested
a friend, STEVEN MICHAEL SNYDER, then working for RPS, to send to her in Nevada
information which he had obtained from RPS. SNYDER sent this information by
mail, specifically including numerous EPOs, after RECTOR indicated she would
use it to assist her in her current job with a competitor to RPS located in
On or about August 20, 1999, RECTOR had a conversation with the Production
Manager of Nelson Paint Ball, Inc. (NPB), located in Kingsford, Michigan.
RECTOR advised him she had gelatin formulas that she wanted to sell for $50,000.00.
RECTOR stated she had obtained the formulas while working at R. P. Scherer,
Inc. (RPS) located in St. Petersburg, Florida. RECTOR stated she was living
in Nevada and had been working for SOFT GELCAPS WEST (SGW) and had recently
been fired. RECTOR stated she had worked in the paint ball plant and in the
nutritional plant. After the conversation, the Production Manager contacted
the companys Executive Vice-President (EVP) with this information.
On August 23, 1999, the EVP received a phone call from RECTOR, who confirmed
the previous information pertaining to the formulas and in addition to making
a number of informational statements, she told EVP that she had sixty-five
(65) paint ball color formulas and one hundred eight (108) gelatin formulas
from when she worked at RPS and would like to sell them for $50,000.00. The
EVP contacted the RPS corporate counsel office concerning the foregoing information.
On August 31, 1999, the Vice President (VP) of Corporate Security for Cardinal
Health contacted the EVP and asked him to contact RECTOR directly for the
purpose of having her fax a sample of the information for sale, so that it
could be evaluated.
On August 31, 1999 the EVP contacted RECTOR and requested she fax a couple
of pages of the fill and gel formulas, maintenance instructions, paintball
facility layout map and the pilot plant notebook. Approximately ten minutes
later the EVP received the faxed documents. The EVP recontacted RECTOR to
confirm receipt of the pages received and then faxed what he had received
to RPS. RPS then contacted the FBI, who opened an investigation on or about
September 1, 1999.
This investigation established that RPS is a Delaware corporation and is a
wholly owned subsidiary of CARDINAL HEALTH, INC. Investigation further determined
that RECTOR was employed at RPS in St. Petersburg, Florida from April, 1994,
through November, 1996.
On September 29, 1999, the EVP initiated a consensually recorded phone call
to RECTOR in Stagecoach, Nevada. During this phone conversation, she advised
the EVP that she had already sold part of the documentation to an unnamed
buyer, however, was still willing to sell the remaining documentation to the
EVP for $25,000.00.
On September 30, 1999, in another consensually recorded phone call made by
the EVP, RECTOR stated in response to his statement to the effect that she
didnt sound like she wanted to come to Michigan, "Yeah, well on
an illegal thing no...(laughing), because you know if Im doing something
thats not ill.., not legally put down as like Im doing a job...Yeah,
then Im setting myself up to get caught or whatever...you know wherever
I go Im setting myself up...but if theres a contract and a job,
you know a job contract, then its not a set up it, you know Im
basically doing a legal work...because it actually has...it doesnt have
nobodys name on it , it is my stuff..." When the EVP asked RECTOR
what she had done with the stuff in the book from the pilot plant, she stated
that they re-hand wrote it and that she destroyed the book so that there were
RECTOR later stated that the company that she had sold the pharmaceutical
formulas to was also interested in buying the paint ball formulas if she still
had them later on. RECTOR then described that what she still had to sell was
a maintenance manual for Japanese Sankyo encapsulation machine, approximately
106 gel formulas, and 60 some paint ball formulas. RECTOR admitted that the
examples she sent by fax were from RPS.
On October 14, 1999, an undercover agent of the FBI met with RECTOR pretending
to have been sent by the EVP. This meeting was video taped. RECTOR turned
over a maroon colored, three-ring binder containing machine maintenance instructions,
paint ball and gel formulas, and list of shell weights. The undercover FBI
agent then gave her a check in the amount of $25,000.00.
Immediately following the exchange, the FBI notified RECTOR that the meeting
had been a sting and she consented to be interviewed even though she had been
advised that she was not under arrest and was free to go. At this time RECTOR
admitted that she received a RPS notebook from a former employee via the United
States mail. Furthermore, RECTOR advised she burned a lab notebook containing
experimental RPS products and notes while in Kentucky.
On January 26, 2000, RECTOR was arrested in Nevada subsequent to a MDFL complaint
and admitted receiving the information which she had turned over to the undercover
FBI agent from a specific individual in Florida through the mail.
Both RECTOR and SNYDER admit that the gel formulas, fill formulas, and EPOs
are proprietary trade secrets of RPS, developed by them and used by them in
the production of drug, nutrient supplement and paint ball delivery systems
(capsules) as well as the fill material inside the capsules.
The prosecution of these offenses constitute the first ever prosecution under
this statute in the Middle District of Florida, and one of a growing number
of prosecutions under this statute nation-wide since the statute was enacted
in October of 1996. This case has national significance because it reenforces
the impact Congress desired to make in limiting the damage industrial espionage
causes United States companies, both here and abroad.
The defendants face a maximum term of ten-years imprisonment and a fine up
to $250,000 for each offense.
The investigation of this case was accomplished through the collaborative
efforts of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Michigan,
Nevada, and here in the Middle District of Florida. This case also demonstrates
a situation where a competitor corporation (NPB) actively cooperated with
federal authorities and the victim corporation (RPS). Without the assistance
of this competitor corporation, the successful prosecution of this case would
not have been possible.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald L.
Hansen, Senior Litigation Counsel for the Tampa Division of the United States
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