In June it was discovered that a Ford employee was unknowingly and illegally listening in on the company’s corporate meetings, allegedly to acquire trade secrets. The employee, an engineer named Sharon Leach, was fired from her position and is currently under investigation by the FBI, with the government organization recently seizing the contents of her work email account.
The Detroit News reports Ford mailed a digital video disk along with an unidentified document to the FBI on Tuesday. The FBI is looking for copies of all emails and files sent and received from Leach’s email account including drafts, address books, contacts calendar data, pictures and other files and attachments. Leach’s home has already been searched by the organization, where they seized several desktop and laptop computers, a credit card, thumb drives and financial records.
“We continue to work with the FBI on this investigation that we initiated and requested assistance on from the FBI,” Ford spokeswoman Susan Krusel said in a statement.
Leach, 43, has not yet been charged with a formal crime. She and her lawyer Marshall Tauber deny the allegations and say Leach planted the listening devices in the meeting rooms because she was “insecure about her note-taking.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel, who successfully prosecuted Umar Farouk, otherwise known as the “underwear bomber”, will represent the government in the case. He specializes in counter-terrorism and other terrorism-related cases in addition to corporate espionage claims.