• United States



by Dave Gradijan

Coca-Cola Accuses Three of Stealing Recipe Secrets

Jul 06, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Three people face federal charges of stealing confidential information, including a sample of a new drink, from Coca-Cola and trying to sell it to PepsiCo, an Associated Press article on MSNBC reports.

According to the AP, the suspects arrested Wednesday—the day a $1.5 million transaction was to occur—include a Coke executive’s administrative assistant, Joya Williams, who is accused of rifling through corporate files and stuffing documents and a new Coca-Cola product into a personal bag. Also accused are 30-year-old Ibrahim Dimson of New York and 43-year-old Edmund Duhaney of Decatur, Ga.

According to federal prosecutors, all three were charged with wire fraud and unlawfully stealing and selling Coke trade secrets.

The AP reports that Chief Executive Neville Isdell said in a memo to employees Wednesday that the company is cooperating with federal authorities.

“Sadly, today’s arrests include an individual within our company,” Isdell wrote. “While this breach of trust is difficult for all of us to accept, it underscores the responsibility we each have to be vigilant in protecting our trade secrets. Information is the lifeblood of the company.”

He said Coke will review its information protection policies, procedures and practices to make sure it safeguards intellectual property. Coke spokesman Ben Deutsch told the AP that the formula for trademark Coca-Cola was not stolen in the theft.

Additionally, the AP reports video surveillance showed Williams at her desk at Coke headquarters going through multiple files looking for documents and stuffing them into bags. She also was observed holding a liquid container with a white label, which resembled the description of a new Coca-Cola product sample, before placing it into her personal bag, prosecutors say. Coca-Cola later verified the sample was genuine and is a product the company is developing, the AP reports.

Compiled by Paul Kerstein

For more information product protection, read Secrets Stolen, Fortunes Lost.

Keep checking in at our Security Feed for updated news coverage.

Or subscribe via RSS.