An Italian national accused of partnering with a Russian to steal trade secrets from GE Aviation was arrested earlier this week, the Justice Department said Friday.
Maurizio Paolo Bianchi, 59, was arrested in Marino, Italy, on October 2 on request from the United States.
Mr. Bianchi and Alexander Gurevich Korshunov, a Russian national, were charged with one count each of trade secret theft. Mr. Korshunov was arrested in August in Italy.
Prosecutors say the scheme unfolded after Mr. Bianchi left an Italian subsidiary of GE Aviation and joined a Russian state-owned engineering firm,United Engine Corp.
Mr. Bianchi then hired several former GE Aviation employees to wok on jet engine components using trade secrets and intellectual property they took from their previous employer, according to court documents.
Between 2013 and 2018, Mr. Bianchi hired three former GE Aviation employees to work on the Russian PD-14 engineer, which has both commercial and military uses, prosecutors said.
Mr. Korshunov, who worked for United Engineering, enlisted Mr. Bianchi to lure the former GE Aviation employees.
In an effort to conceal their actions, they avoided referring to the engineers by name in emails, referring to them only as “the guys,” according to an indictment. The engineers also met with Mr. Korsunov at air shows in France and Italy to avoid detection, prosecutors said.