Earlier this month, the FBI searched Ford Motor Company's world headquarters after starting an investigation into a former employee who is accused of industrial espionage. The Detroit News got their hands on the court records and search warrants which show on July 11th, the FBI had permission to search the entire building and seize digital and electronic recording devices, emails, and and other records involving Sharon Leech, a former Ford engineer who is at the center of this investigation.
Leech, an engineer who worked at Ford for seventeen years, was fired recently after Ford's security team discovered recording devices planted in the automaker’s meeting rooms. Ford's security team believes that Leach was stealing trade secrets from the hidden audio recorders. However, Leech's lawyer argues that those devices were used to help her transcribe meetings.
“It didn’t involve anything of a spying nature. She wanted to record conversations of meetings she attended but didn’t know how to do it. She was insecure about her note-taking," said Marshall Tauber, the lawyer representing Leech.
One surprise is that the FBI got search warrants and not a subpoena for this. There is a reason for this. In cases of industrial espionage, the recording devices could be erased before getting to the FBI. The search warrants eliminate this.
Leech declined to comment when reached by the The Detroit News.
Source: The Detroit News