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Russian, Italian Nationals Charged With Stealing Trade Secrets From GE Aviation

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The U.S. Department of Justice said that two foreigners, an Italian and a Russian, have been charged with conspiring and attempting to steal trade secrets from American aviation company, GE Aviation.

Alexander Yuryevich Korshunov, 57, and Maurizio Paolo Bianchi, 59, were charged by a criminal complaint on August 21.

Korshunov was an employee of Russian state-owned company United Engine Corp, and had previously served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Bianchi was former director at an Italian subsidiary of GE Aviation. While working for the subsidiary, Bianchi was responsible for business in China, Russia and Asia.

After leaving the subsidiary, Bianchi went to work for a company called Aernova in Forli, Italy.

It is alleged that between 2013 and 2018, Bianchi hired employees of GE Aviation's Italian subsidiary to do consulting work related to jet engine accessory gearboxes for Bianchi and Korshunov. The employees' statements of work stated that the holders of patent and intellectual property obtained as a result of the work are the Russian Ministries of Industry and Trade.

An affidavit filed in court said Korshunov arranged and paid for employees to meet with him in June 2013 at the Paris Air Show, and in 2014 in Milan, Italy, to discuss and revise the technical report.

Korshunov was arrested on August 30 at Naples International Airport in Italy, while Bianchi is on the run. Both of them are punishable for up to 10 years in prison over the criminal charges.

The case was investigated by the FBI.

Ohio-based GE Aviation is one of the world's top aircraft engine suppliers.

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