Logan trade-theft case collapses in federal court

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Federal prosecutors have dropped industrial espionage charges against a scientist accused of spilling the secrets of a Utah chemical company.

A judge recently ruled that chemical recipes held by Logan-based Frontier Scientific Inc. were widely known to professionals in the field.

To settle the case, chemist Prabhu Mohapatra pleaded guilty last month to a single count of unauthorized access to his former employer’s computer database. He was let go.

Twenty-five other charges were dismissed, and U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups threw out a $227,985 damage claim against the foreign scientist. He was accused of sharing a chemical recipe with a colleague in India.

Mohapatra remains in Utah to answer a related state charge of theft. He is due to appear in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing.

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