A former Ford product engineer has been found guilty of industrial espionage.Mike Yu (49) pleaded guilty to two charges of trade secret theft in a Michigan court this week.Yu worked for ten years at Ford as a product engineer before moving over to the Beijing Automotive Company in 2008.When Yu left Ford for Beijing Automotive he copied in excess of 4 000 documents onto an external hard drive. These documents included crucial technical information relating to Ford’s engine and transmission designs, electric systems and body shell structures. Yu was arrested when entering the United States on 21 October last year, after FBI agents scanned his Beijing Automotive Company laptop and found 41 Ford design specification documents on the machine’s hard drive. As part of Yu’s plea agreement he will be deported to China when his US prison sentence has run its course. Due to for sentencing in February next year, Yu could face up to six and a half years in prison and a fine of R1m.