Business

Global chase cracked corporate espionage case

Former AMSC engineer Dejan Karabasevic, seated, was convicted in Austria on charges of revealing trade secrets.
Former AMSC engineer Dejan Karabasevic, seated, was convicted in Austria on charges of revealing trade secrets.Credit: Eugen Freund for The Boston Globe/File 2011

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The arrest and conviction of an AMSC employee in an Austrian court would be the opening round of a two-year fight by the Devens-based technology firm to defend its intellectual property rights — even as it lost millions of dollars and laid off hundreds of workers as the result of alleged theft of proprietary software theft by a Chinese wind turbine maker. It would also open a window on the sometimes tawdry world of economic espionage.

The saga — pieced together with court records, financial filings, and interviews — took investigators from a wind farm in China to corporate offices in Austria and Middleton, Wis., and ultimately back to Massachusetts. Here, less than 40 miles from AMSC headquarters, FBI agents found a key piece of evidence.

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