Kolon pleads guilty to conspiracy, agrees to settle litigation in Kevlar trade secrets case

Markets Associated Press

A South Korean company accused of stealing trade secrets involving Kevlar technology has pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges and settled separate civil litigation filed by the DuPont Co.

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In resolving the legal battles, Kolon Industries Inc. was sentenced to pay $85 million in criminal fines and agreed to pay $275 million in restitution to DuPont.

Federal authorities obtained an indictment in 2012 charging Kolon and five of its employees with engaging in a seven-year conspiracy — including hiring current and former DuPont employees as "consultants" — to steal trade secrets involving high-strength synthetic fibers used in products such as Kevlar body armor.

Last year, a federal appeals court overturned a jury decision awarding $920 million in damages to the DuPont Co. in the civil lawsuit.