Former engineer admits theft of trade secrets

June 5, 2014. An engineer who formerly lived in Mahwah, NJ, admitted last month to stealing trade secrets from two global medical technology companies based in northern New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Ketankumar Maniar, 37, aka “Ketan Maniar,” pleaded guilty May 28 before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with two counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets for his own economic benefit. Maniar, an Indian national, has been in custody since his June 2013 arrest.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, C.R. Bard Inc. (Bard), based in Murray Hill, NJ, and Becton, Dickinson and Co. (BD), based in Franklin Lakes, NJ, are among the world’s leading manufacturers of medical technologies. From November 2004 until his resignation on January 22, 2011, Maniar worked as an engineer at Bard’s Salt Lake City facility and was responsible for developing molding processes and specifications for catheters, ports, and other medical products. From February 2012 until his resignation on May 24, 2013, Maniar worked as a staff engineer at BD’s Franklin Lakes headquarters, where he helped manufacture pre-fillable syringes and pen injectors.

Through his work at Bard and BD, Maniar was able to steal secret information related to the companies’ products, including Bard’s development of the first implantable port used for power injection of pharmaceutical drugs throughout the body. Maniar also had access to secret information related to a self-administered disposable pen injector still under development by BD and not yet available for commercial sale.

Maniar admitted he stole Bard and BD trade secrets that he kept after his resignation from those companies. Maniar downloaded numerous files containing Bard or BD product information from his work computers onto multiple computer storage devices, including external hard drives and thumb drives. He also used his work email accounts at Bard and BD to forward trade secrets to his personal email accounts.

On June 3, 2013, pursuant to court-issued federal warrants, FBI agents searched Maniar’s rental car and the New Jersey hotel room he stayed in while planning a move back to India. Agents seized–among other things–at least one hard drive containing Bard and BD trade secrets.

The theft of trade secrets charges are each punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is currently scheduled for September 23, 2014.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, for their work in the investigation of this case.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shirley U. Emehelu of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

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