International Thieves Steal Wind Turbine Software From Middleton


Two Chinese citizens and a Serbian national face federal charges in Madison for stealing proprietary wind turbine software.

The software came from a company formerly known as American Superconductor Inc. that has offices in Middleton. The alleged theft took place in Middleton when one of the defendants downloaded the software that regulates the flow of electricity from wind turbines to the electrical grid.

They then sent it to a computer in Austria where a Chinese wind turbine company Sinovel copied it and began using it free of charge.

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U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil says the theft was an attempt to murder the American company.

Vandreuil: “Five-hundred people lost jobs. You go to to the Middleton office and there’s a few people working. There’s empty carrel.”

Vaudreuil says it may be impossible to prosecute the three individuals responsible for the theft because the United States doesn’t have extradition treaties with China or Serbia. But the Chinese company that copied the software does have offices in the United States, and could face a fine of more than $800 million.

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