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Two plead guilty to stealing Coca-Cola secrets
The men conspired to steal trade secrets from the soft drink giant and sell them to rival Pepsi for $1.5 million.

ATLANTA (CNN) -- Two men pleaded guilty Monday to stealing trade secrets from soft drink giant Coca-Cola.

The men, who were not employees of Coca-Cola (up $0.53 to $47.28, Charts), were indicted July 12 along with a former Coke employee on charges that they conspired to steal trade secrets from the soft drink giant and sell them to rival Pepsi for $1.5 million.

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Ibrahim Dimson, 30, of New York, and Edmund Duhaney, 43, of the Atlanta suburb of Decatur, Ga., were also charged with unlawfully replicating and transmitting trade secrets and receiving and possessing trade secrets.

Sentencing for the men was set for Jan. 29. Each could receive a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Coke employee Joya Williams, 41, of Atlanta, has entered a not guilty plea to the grand jury's indictment. She remains free on a $25,000 bond awaiting trial set for Nov. 13.

U.S. District Judge Joel Feldman granted a confidentiality order that bars the defendants from discussing the trade secrets except with their attorneys and will keep parts of the testimony and records out of the public eye to protect Coke's interests.

According to the indictment, Williams, who worked as an administrative assistant to Philipp Bodzenta, director of global marketing at Coke, was to "copy and/or remove the company's trade secret documents and remove samples of products that were in development" and give them to Duhaney and Dimson. Dimson was to "solicit and sell" the trade secrets - referred to as "Project N..." - and the three were to split the profits.

Pepsi (up $0.37 to $63.18, Charts), however, notified Coke about the plan, and Coke notified the FBI, which foiled the plot in a sting operation. Williams was fired from her position.

In testimony on July 12, Duhaney's wife, Veronica, testified that she had known Williams for a number of years and that her husband and Dimson met when both were serving time for felonies - Duhaney on drug charges and Dimson for bank fraud - at the federal prison in Montgomery, Ala.

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