- The Washington Times - Monday, October 23, 2006

ATLANTA (AP) — The two men accused of plotting with a secretary at Coca-Cola Co. to steal trade secrets from the world’s biggest soft drink maker and trying to sell them to archrival Pepsico Inc. each pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiracy.

Ibrahim Damson and Edmund Duhaney both face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when they are sentenced Jan. 29.

Former Coca-Cola secretary Joya Williams is scheduled to stand trial starting the week of Nov. 13.

During the plea hearing in federal court, Duhaney told the judge that Miss Williams, a longtime friend, contacted him first and wanted to “make things happen,” while Damson testified that Duhaney then contacted him to try to broker a deal with Pepsi.

Duhaney entered his plea as part of a deal with prosecutors and will likely cooperate if Miss Williams’ case goes to trial, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Bjay Pak, who pointed out that Duhaney could still get the maximum sentence.

Duhaney’s attorney, Don Samuel, described his client as a “bit player who was very briefly involved as a go-between.”

Miss Williams, Damson and Duhaney were indicted July 11 on federal conspiracy charges. The three were accused of stealing new product samples and confidential documents from Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and trying to sell them to Pepsico’s Pepsi unit, which is second in U.S. soft drink sales to Coca-Cola.

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