Former Columbus engineer admits to stealing trade secrets

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  A former employee at a Columbus manufacturing company is facing serious charges in a federal investigation.

In court Friday, 57-year-old Kevin Crow admitted to stealing highly confidential trade secrets.

At the Federal Courthouse in Albany today, he pled guilty to the Theft of Trade Secrets, a violation of the Economic Espionage Act.

According to his plea deal with the government, it all started, at a company in Thomasville, GA called Turbine Engines Components Technologies (TECT) Corporation where Crow dealt with foreign commerce and confidential trade secrets from 1979 until 2007 when he was laid off.

Crow admits that when he left TECT to work for its competitor Precision Components International off Macon Road in Columbus, he took with him close 100 CD's containing top secret information including blueprints, cost and pricing information.

Both TECT and PCI are in the business of manufacturing and selling engine blades for military aircrafts. PCI is a subsidiary of a company that has other facilities in Israel and China.

Back in April, PCI officials confirmed to WTVM they are assisting the FBI in an investigation but the company and the FBI have remained tight-lipped on that investigation.

No one would comment on the case coming out of court including Crow's attorney and Crow himself who was released on bond and did whatever he could to avoid our camera.

He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

FBI agents on the case tell WTVM they can't comment any further on PCI in Columbus or if more charges are pending in their ongoing investigation.

But they say they are looking at how far this case extends and that there could be more arrests made.

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