Guilty pleas in Coca-Cola trade secrets case

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Two of the three people accused of conspiring to steal trade secrets from Coca-Cola and sell them to rival Pepsi pleaded guilty on Monday to one federal charge of conspiracy. The attorney for the third accused conspirator, Joya Williams, says she will not plead guilty.

Ibrahim Dimson and Edmund Duhaney each face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. They will be sentenced on January 29, 2007.

Joya Williams worked as an administrative assistant for Coke’s global brand director, and allegedly had access to samples of new products and confidential information regarding Coke’s trade secrets. Duhaney told a judge that she contacted him about the scheme, and he then contacted Dimson, who was to make a deal worth $1.5 million with Pepsi.

The scheme was exposed when Pepsi officials contacted Coca-Cola about the scam. A search of Duhaney’s home on July 5 turned up Coca-Cola product samples and confidential company documents. The three were indicted on July 11.

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