HOUSTON – Seven people were charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets after the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice raided two homes in Houston Tuesday afternoon.
The FBI said investigators were conducting "lawful law enforcement operation" at 7 Buckingham Court Circle, in the Hedwig Village neighborhood, and at 13601 Farm to Market Road 529 Tuesday.
According to court documents, the houses were raided because the co-conspirators are accused of successfully receiving and stealing trade secrets from a global engineering company and using those secrets for their own financial gain.
Officials said two suspects were arrested in Washington, D.C., three in Texas and one in Massachusetts.
Authorities said, Shan Shi, 52, of Houston, Texas; Uka Kalu Uche, 35, of Spring, Texas; Samuel Abotar Ogoe, 74, of Missouri City, Texas; and Johnny Wade Randall, 48, of Conroe, Texas, had engaged in illegal international monetary transactions with a Chinese manufacturing company since March 2012.
Also charged were Kui Bo, 40, a Canadian citizen, and Gang Liu, 31, a Chinese national. Both Bo and Liu have been residing in Houston as a permanent residents.
According to court documents, authorities believe the two houses were paid for with laundered funds.
"That's something that we can pitch as a reality show," said KPRC Channel 2 Legal Analyst Brian Wice. He said cases like this are rare. He said, "What makes this case unique is not only the worth of one of the properties in 77024, but the nature of the underlying illegality, which is theft of trade secrets to China."
Officials have not yet seized the houses, but with further investigation, the houses may be taken by authorities after proving they were paid for from proceeds of theft and trade secrets.
According to court documents, multiple people and businesses worked together to transfer $3,100,000 million to a bank account inside the U.S. from a bank account overseas.
KPRC2 will provide further details as they become available.