Plano, TX, October 2, 2020: Former Gambol Pet USA, Inc. employees, Jie Zhu and Pinghua Lei were sentenced on August 19, 2020, in the United States Eastern District Court in Plano, Texas, to serve six months’ imprisonment due to their guilty pleas to one count of trade secret theft.
As part of their guilty pleas, Zhu and Lei admitted that before leaving employment with NPIC in 2017, they stole and misappropriated trade secrets of NPIC after accepting an offer of employment with direct competitor, Gambol Pet USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gambol Pet Group Co., LTD. Zhu and Lei downloaded and made several copies of electronic files that contained proprietary and trade secret information of NPIC, including formulas, tests, yields, and manufacturing processes for products and customers of NPIC.
Both Zhu and Lei were ordered to pay a $100 special assessment and a $9,500 fine. The court also ordered Zhu and Lei to serve a 3-year term of supervised release following completion of imprisonment and report to the U.S. Immigration Services for deportation proceedings that could potentially result in their deportation from the United States.
Civil litigation is ongoing between NPIC and Gambol Pet Group Co, Ltd. In the civil litigation, NPIC asserted claims of misappropriation of trade secrets against Gambol Pet Group Co., Ltd., and its’ subsidiary, Gambol Pet USA, Inc. stemming from Zhu and Lei's actions.
NPIC is a leading developer and manufacturer of pet treats, including dental, functional, and soft training treats under the brand names N-Bone and Get Naked since 1996. NPIC has a complete SQF Level-3 qualified food manufacturing facility in Plano, Texas, and all the treat products are made using natural ingredients. NPIC's products are sold in North America, Asia, Australia, and China.
Contact: PR at (972) 509-0449, PR@npiccorporate.com