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Man pleads guilty in trade secret case
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Forsyth County News

A Forsyth County man pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges that he stole trade secrets from his former employer, Home Depot.

Sentencing for Guillermo Martinez, 47, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Feb. 3 before U.S. District Judge Willis B. Hunt Jr., according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia.

The statement shows that in 2008, while working as a senior manager in product engineering for the home improvement retailer, Martinez provided a vendor with company trade secrets.

“Specifically, Martinez gave out confidential and proprietary pricing information, including the price that the company was paying the vendor’s competitors for the products that the vendor wanted to sell to the company,” the statement said.

It goes on to say that Martinez gave the vendor documents submitted to Home Depot by competitors and that he was negotiating with the vendor for an employment agreement.

The FBI is investigating the case.

“Intellectual property-related cases are serious criminal cases with high dollar stakes,” said Greg Jones, FBI Atlanta special agent in charge.

“The FBI understands the corporate concerns and the potential damages caused by such thefts and considers itself well suited to investigate and enforce these laws.”