NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Eastman Kodak Co. said Friday it had filed suit alleging that former employees, including a supervisor and a developmental engineer, were involved in stealing and selling company secrets.
The suit names Harold Worden, a retired former supervisor at Kodak Park, the company's main film manufacturing center and its research and development headquarters. Also named was Kurt Strobl, an engineer who fired Wednesday, the same day the lawsuit was filed under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
In a letter to company employees released on Friday, Kodak said Worden, an employee for 28 years before leaving the company in 1992 in an early-retirement program, set up a consulting firm, Worden Enterprises Inc.
It said Worden distributed material indicating that he had recruited about 60 former Kodak employees and had marketed these employees when providing technical and engineering services to clients that included Kodak competitors.
A report in Friday's Wall Street Journal said Worden allegedly obtained 40,000 documents on company secrets, gathered through the consulting operation.
Kodak told employees last week that it was participating in a Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the actions of former employees who were allegedly selling trade secrets.
The lawsuit alleges that Strobl passed along information to Worden from a project on the production of consumer film in return for "at least $4,000 to $5,000 in cash payments."
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. district court, asked a judge to determine monetary damages. It also seeks a court order to halt all the alleged activity and return stolen property.