This case arose out of a secret plan by a Chinese manufacturing company and its U.S. subsidiary to steal and use valuable Forum trade secrets and other confidential information in the oil and gas industry.
Using travel and cash payments to ensnare an American employee of Forum (Erford), the defendants secured access to proprietary technical data key to the manufacture of Forum’s successful oilfield coiled tubing products. When Erford was discovered, Forum promptly reported the conspiracy to federal authorities, who investigated and filed criminal complaints against defendants. Erford ultimately pleaded guilty, as did Jason Oil. Jason Energy entered into a deferred prosecution agreement. Forum also filed a federal civil case alleging claims of trade secret theft and related claims. Jason filed a partial motion to dismiss, which was unsuccessful on all claims except for tortious interference with prospective business relations. The case was mediated successfully in June 2022. Yetter Coleman has been involved from the very first call to the FBI regarding Erford, and worked with Forum management, engineers, industry experts, and computer forensic experts to investigate and address the allegations, educate and assist the FBI, and bring the civil case to a conclusion.