Suspect’s Suicide Won’t Slow Investigation into PPG Industrial Espionage

July 24th, 2015 by Drew Vass, Executive Editor

The suicide of Thomas Rukavina, a former PPG Industries chemist accused in federal court in Pittsburgh with theft of trade secrets, won’t slow down the investigation into the case.

“U.S. Attorney David Hickton in Pittsburgh said the FBI will continue to spearhead the spy probe but couldn’t be more specific due to the ‘sensitive nature’ of the case,” according to a local report.

Rukavina was charged in early May after an investigation by the FBI, according to a statement by the Justice Department.

Rukavina retired from PPG in July 2012. The criminal complaint alleges that as early as June 2014, he “passed propriety and confidential information to J.T.M.G. Co., a glass company based in Jiangsu, China, that specializes in automotive and other specialty glass.”

“The trade secret information he passed included PPG’s manufacturing specifications for windows, which are made of synthetic plastics and used for high-speed transportation, including airplanes,” according to a statement from the U.S. Justice Department.

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