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Three Chinese nationals accused of stealing trade secrets from Lucent Technologies also swiped information from four other companies, according to a new indictment returned Thursday. The three men, including two scientists who worked at Lucent’s Murray Hill, N.J., headquarters, were originally charged in May with plotting a joint venture with Datang Telecom Technology Co. Ltd. of Beijing. They have pleaded innocent and are free on bail. According to the original indictment, the men wanted to become “the Cisco of China” by selling a clone of Lucent’s now-discontinued PathStar data and voice transmission system to Internet providers there. The new indictment alleges trade secrets were stolen not only from Lucent, but from companies that licensed or sold products to Lucent for use in the PathStar server. Lucent fired the scientists after their arrests in May. Hai Lin, 30, and Kai Xu, 33, had been on the telecommunications giant’s technical staff; a third man, Yong-Qing Cheng, 37, was fired after his arrest from Village Networks, an optical networking vendor. Each now faces 24 counts, including the original conspiracy charge, 14 counts of possessing trade secrets, and nine wire fraud counts. The conspiracy charge carries a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, as does each count of trade secret possession. Each wire fraud count carries up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Cheng lawyer, James Plaisted, said defense lawyers expected the additional charges because the U.S. attorney’s office had said it would make more specific accusations. Xu lawyer Paul Fishman said his client continues to maintain his innocence. The trial is set for Sept. 24. The three defendants, all legal U.S. residents, formed a company called ComTriad in January 2000. It formed a partnership controlled by Datang about February 2001, which was funded with $1.2 million from Datang, the indictment said. Prosecutors have said a substantial amount of the PathStar source code was sent to Datang, which has asserted it “always follows the laws and regulations about intellectual patents.” Lucent said it discontinued the PathStar system in early 2001, shortly before discovering the theft and alerting authorities. The new indictment named as victims Telenetworks, a unit of Next Level Communication, of Rohnert Park, Calif.; NetPlane Systems Inc., of Dedham, Mass.; Hughes Software Systems Ltd., of Gurgaon, India; and ZiaTech Corp., of San Luis Obispo, Calif. Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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