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Local GE employee charged with theft of trade secrets

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (WRGB) - An FBI raid at a Niskayuna home resulted in one arrest Wednesday and a load of evidence removed from the home.

Niskayuna resident Xiaoqing Zheng, 55, appeared in Albany Federal Court on what the judge called a criminal complaint for theft of trade secrets.

FBI officials escorted Zheng out of his house on Cephalonia Dr. in handcuffs just before noon on Wednesday. Official paperwork accuses Zheng, a GE engineer, of hiding data files belonging to GE in a picture of a sunset, and then emailing the stolen files to himself. A GE spokesperson responded regarding Zheng's arrest saying

“We have been in close cooperation with the FBI for some time on this matter. At GE, we aggressively protect and defend our Intellectual Property and have strict processes in place for identifying these issues and partnering with law enforcement. We won’t have any additional comment at this time as this is an ongoing investigation."

FBI and Homeland Security investigators removed boxes of evidence from Zheng's home, including computers. The judge stated in court Wednesday that the trade secrets theft charge could hold a maximum of 10 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine. Zheng's wife and daughter had no comment leaving the courthouse.

Zheng showed up to court Wednesday without an attorney. According to the judge's orders, he will be held until another hearing on Thursday afternoon at 1:30 when he is expected to have gotten himself a lawyer.

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