Salesman sentenced for trying to take trade secrets to China

CHICAGO (AP) — An ex-employee of a suburban Chicago manufacturing company convicted of stealing trade secrets to a new job in China has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison.

Robert O’Rourke of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin was convicted in March in U.S. District Court of downloading without permission documents belonging to Dura-Bar, a producer of cast iron products. The metallurgist and salesman in 2015 resigned his post at the Woodstock, Illinois-based company, where he worked since 1984.

The 59-year-old O’Rourke helped Dura-Bar develop business in China and other countries. Evidence presented at his trial indicated he began negotiations in 2013 to take a similar job with a Jiangsu, China firm.

Prosecutors say federal investigators arrested O’Rourke in September 2015 when he headed to O’Hare International Airport to catch a flight to China and seized the stolen trade secrets.