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2nd former Nationwide Children's researcher sentenced for conspiring to steal trade secrets, sell them in China

Yu Zhou's co-conspirator and wife, Li Chen, was sentenced to 30 months in February.
Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus (WBNS-10TV)

A second former Nationwide Children's Researcher has been sentenced for conspiring to steal trade secrets and sell them in China.

Acting United States Attorney Vipal J. Patel announced 51-year-old Yu Zhou was sentenced to 33 months in prison on Monday.

Zhou admitted in his guilty plea last year to stealing scientific trade secrets related to exosomes and exosome isolation from Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Research Institute for his own personal financial gain.

He along with his co-conspirator and wife, 48-year-old Li Chen, worked in separate medical research labs for 10 years each.

Both pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal at least five trade secrets related to the research.

According to court documents, the couple conspired to steal and then monetize one of the trade secrets by creating and selling exosome “isolation kits.” They then started a company in China to sell the kits.

Zhou and Chen received benefits from the Chinese government and were part of application processes related to multiple government programs.

Both were arrested in July 2019. Chen pleaded guilty in July 2020 and sentenced to 30 months in February 2021.