WASHINGTON (AP) — A software engineer is accused of stealing trade secrets from the Illinois locomotive company he once worked for and taking the information to China.

The Justice Department has unsealed an indictment charging Xudong Yao with nine counts of trade secrets theft.

Federal prosecutors say Yao downloaded thousands of files from the suburban Chicago company while at the same time negotiating and securing a job with a Chinese company. Prosecutors say Yao took the files with him when he flew to China in 2015 and began working at the company there.

The department has brought multiple cases in the last year alleging that Chinese companies have exploited trade secret theft from American corporations.

Yao is believed to be living in China. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had a lawyer.

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