Federal Court of Appeals Affirms Sentences in Theft of Trade Secret Case

In a federal criminal case that was prosecuted in Atlanta, Georgia, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed the sentences of two individuals convicted of conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets. This federal case received a lot of media attention because it involved an allegation that a Coca-Cola Company employee and others attempted to sell confidential documents and materials to one of Coke’s main competitors, Pepsi. After learning of the alleged scheme, an FBI agent posed as a Pepsi employee who was interested in purchasing the documents.

Ultimately, the Coke employee and two others were charged and convicted in federal court here in Atlanta. On appeal, the lawyers for two of the defendants raised a number of arguments, including the argument that the sentences that the trial court imposed, both of which were above the applicable guideline range, were unreasonable. The Court of Appeals disagreed, however. According to the Court of Appeals, neither defendant was able to show that the sentence at issue was either procedurally or substantively unreasonable.