Former PPG chemist, accused of trade secret theft, commits suicide
Thomas Rukavina, a chemist who retired from PPG in 2012 and who was accused of transmitting trade secret information to an entity in Jiangsu, China in May 2015, committed suicide on 7 June 2015. The trade secret theft will still be investigated. Suspect suicide won’t end trade secret theft probe
The FBI.GOV website had noted
The criminal complaint alleges that Rukavina retired from PPG in July of 2012. As early as June 2014, Rukavina passed proprietary and confidential information to J.T.M.G. Co., a glass company based in Jiangsu, China, that specializes in automotive and other specialty glass. The trade secret information he passed included PPG’s manufacturing specifications for windows, which are made of synthetic plastics and used for high-speed transportation, including airplanes.
Text at spiritwind noted:
According to the complaint, the Chinese company asked Rukavina if he had signed “any type of confidential agreement or non-competitive agreement with PPG.â€
Rukavina allegedly responded, “When you join and when you leave PPG, you are forced to sign these documents. [If] you followed these documents as written you could never work again.”
Rukavina went on to write that he was “forced out,” and that had he not agreed to leave PPG, he would have received only $18,000 in severance pay instead of $100,000.
Rukavina said, “If PPG owns my brain for life then they should pay me $2 million per year to keep it!!”
PPG says it’s cooperating with authorities, but won’t comment because the investigation is ongoing.
PPG told the FBI the various information Rukavina shared with the Chinese company would be worth “hundreds of millions of dollars… and the plastic window product in question was the industry’s first new transparent plastic in more than 50 years.”
On his Facebook page, Rukavina says he has 44 U.S. patents. And that he’s responsible for “the highest impact plastic ever developed and approved for aircraft transparenciesâ€¦ will stop any handgun round.”
Of interest is other text concerning Chinese students:
Fifteen Chinese nationals — almost all in their 20s — have been indicted by a Pittsburgh grand jury for using fake Chinese passports and hired test-takers to take SATs and other standardized exams in order to gain admission to American universities.
U.S. Attorney David Hickton outlined the first-of-its-kind conspiracy to KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Thursday.
â€œA test-taker using a phony passport misrepresents themselves as someone else and they take the test, and when the test score is obtained, the student can gain admission to an American institution of higher education,â€ said Hickton. â€œAnd then, because of that under the visa rules, they can get an F-1 visa that allows them to stay here.â€
While most of the indicted Chinese were in Pittsburgh, Hickton would not confirm that the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University were the principal victims of the conspiracy, saying only, â€œGreat educational institutions in this region and around the country have been victimized.â€
***Separately, as to a matter of timing, the law firm Orick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP had posted an article on the Rukavina matter, titled Fighting Back: Identifying Risks Posed by an Angry Current or Former Employee on 2 June 2015, five days before Rukavina's suicide.
The Orrick text includes:
PPG appears to have learned of Rukavina’s work with the Chinese manufacturer after J.T.M.G. contacted one of PPG’s subcontractors about purchasing molds based on PPG’s designs and specifications.