BOSTON – A Lexington man was convicted on Thursday, May 26, 2022 of possessing a stolen trade secret, the first-ever conviction following a criminal trial of this kind in the District of Massachusetts.
Haoyang Yu, 43, was convicted following a month-long jury trial of possessing the prototype design of a microchip, known as the HMC1022A, which was owned and developed by Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI), a semiconductor company headquartered in Wilmington. The chip is used in aerospace and defense applications. U.S. Senior District Court Judge William G. Young scheduled sentencing for Sept. 15, 2022.
From 2014 to 2017, Yu worked at ADI, where he designed microchips used by the communications, defense and aerospace industries. As a result of his work, Yu had access to ADI’s present and future microchip designs, including their schematic files, design layout files and manufacturing files.
While he was an ADI employee, Yu started his own microchip design firm, Tricon MMIC, LLC, and used the stolen HMC1022A design to manufacture a knock-off version of ADI’s chip. Yu began selling his version of HMC1022A prior to ADI’s release of its chip. ADI cooperated fully in the government’s investigation.
The jury acquitted Yu of other counts of possessing stolen trade secrets, wire fraud, immigration fraud, and the illegal export of controlled technology.
The charge of possessing stolen trade secrets provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
United States Attorney Rachael Rollins; James Brigham, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement, Boston Field Office; Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of the Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Michael Wiest, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Northeast Field Office made the announcement. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Coast Guard Investigative Service, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Massachusetts State Police, Lexington Police Department and Hingham Police Department provided assistance with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amanda Beck, Jason A. Casey, John A. Capin of Rollins’ National Security Unit are prosecuting the case.