US: Coke secret-selling secretary found guilty

By | 5 February 2007

The former Coca-Cola secretary charged with stealing company secrets has been found guilty.

Joya Williams, who had held the position of secretary to the company's global brand director, was found guilty on Friday (2 February) of stealing trade secrets from Coca-Cola, with a view to selling them on to Pepsi.

Despite being hung on Thursday, the jury delivered their verdict the following day after US District Judge J. Owen Forrester told them to try again.

Prosecutors had alleged that Williams and two co-conspirators - both of which had earlier pleaded guilty - tried to sell information to Pepsi from Coca-Cola in May last year, in deals worth US$1.5m. Coke learned of the theft and the attempted sale of the "very detailed and confidential information" from Pepsi.

Williams could face up to ten years in prison, although no sentencing date has yet been set.

Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

Companies: Coke

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