US Judge Fines Chinese Turbine Company $1.5M
A U.S. judge has ordered one of China's biggest makers of wind turbines to pay a $1.5 million fine after the company was convicted of stealing trade secrets from a U.S. manufacturer.
The judge in Madison, Wisconsin, also sentenced Sinovel on Friday to one year of probation, during which it must pay in full a $57.5 million settlement it struck with Massachusetts-based manufacturer AMSC.
Friday's sentence came after a U.S. federal jury found Sinovel guilty in January on charges of conspiracy, trade-secret theft and wire fraud.
AMSC, formerly known as American Superconductor Inc., almost went out of business after Sinovel's crime. Federal prosecutors said investors dumped more than $1 billion in AMSC stock and about 700 workers lost their jobs, more than half of the company's global workforce.
The case centered on technology that AMSC developed to regulate the flow of electricity from wind turbines to electrical grids.
U.S. prosecutors said Sinovel entered into an $800 million contract for products from AMSC but never paid the money. Instead, prosecutors said, Sinovel used computers in Austria to steal the wind turbine technology and trade secrets from AMSC and to install them on Sinovel's own turbines