Couple accused of stealing documents from GM on hybrid technology worth $40 million.

A Troy, Michigan couple has been in arraigned in U.S. federal court, accused of possessing trade secrets stolen from GM and trying to sell them to a Chinese party.

Shanshan Du, a former GM employee, and her husband Yu Qin were indicted this week on six-counts of unauthorized possession of trade secrets, wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, when Du left GM in 2005 she copied documents on hybrid technology and gave them to her husband, who then used the knowledge for his own business venture, Millennium Technology International, Inc. The company attempted to supply technology to Chery Automobile, which is a competitor to GM in China, but the information never made it into Chinese hands.

Du and Qin, both naturalized U.S. citizens, also tried to destroy documents subpoenaed by a federal grand jury by shredding and tossing them in a dumpster back in 2006. GM says the documents stolen were worth more than $40 million.

The couple face a maximum penalty of 20 years for the wire fraud and obstruction of justice charges and 10 years for illegal possession of trade secrets.

Du and Qin have entered a plea of not-guilty and have been released on $10,000 unsecured bonds.

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