A Ford employee was fired after it was found she had been hiding microphones in the automaker’s meeting rooms to help transcribe meetings and gather information, The Detroit News reports. The FBI searched Ford’s world headquarters in Dearborn, MI. and seized listening devices, computers and financial records as part of an investigation into the matter.
Sharon Leach was fired in June after she was caught hiding microphones underneath desks in the meeting rooms, presumably to help learn trade secrets. She later admitted to planting the mics in the room, but her and her lawyer, Marshall Tauber, maintain that 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,” Tauber told The Detroit News.
The FBI and Ford are now working together to investigate Leach for corporate espionage, although she hasn’t yet been formally charged with anything. The FBI also raided her home and seized several desktop and laptop computers, a credit card, thumb drives and financial records, in addition to the recording devices they recovered from Ford.
Ford decline to comment on the investigation.
“Ford and the FBI are working together on a joint investigation involving a former employee,” said spokeswoman Susan Krusel. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we are not able to provide additional details.”