Friday, July 07, 2006

pepsi does the 'right thing" - how stupid can you get when it comes to industrial theft

Stolen' Coke recipes offered to rival Pepsi

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Harry Weber, Atlanta
July 7, 2006

THREE people have been arrested and charged with stealing confidential information on drink recipes from Coca-Cola and trying to sell it to rival Pepsi.

The suspects include an executive administrative assistant at Atlanta-based Coke, Joya Williams, who is accused of stealing corporate files and a sample of a new Coca-Cola product.

Williams, 41, Ibrahim Dimson, 39, and Edmund Duhaney, 43, are charged with wire fraud and unlawfully stealing and selling Coke trade secrets. They are expected to appear before a federal judge in Atlanta today.

Prosecutors say that on May 19, New York-based Pepsi provided Coke with a copy of a letter mailed to Pepsi in an official Coca-Cola business envelope.

The letter, postmarked from the Bronx in New York, was from an individual identifying himself as "Dirk," who claimed to be employed at a high level with Coca-Cola and offered "very detailed and confidential information". "Dirk" was later identified as Dimson, the FBI said.

Coca-Cola immediately contacted the FBI and an undercover investigation began.

Prosecutors say Williams was the source of the information Dimson offered to Pepsi. They say "Dirk" gave an FBI undercover agent Coca-Cola documents marked classified and confidential. "Dirk" wanted $US10,000 ($A13,500) for them.

"Dirk" later produced other secret documents, and also wanted $US75,000 for a highly confidential product sample of a new Coca-Cola project.

On June 27, an undercover FBI agent offered to buy other trade secret items for $US1.5 million from "Dirk". Dimson, Williams and Duhaney were arrested in Atlanta on Wednesday, the day the $US1.5 million deal was to take place.