2 detained in Coca-Cola trade secrets case

Two people charged with stealing confidential information from The Coca-Cola Co. and trying to sell it to PepsiCo. were ordered held on Thursday, pending a hearing next week, and a third was expected to be released on bond.

Following a hearing before a federal magistrate judge, Ibrahim Dimson, 30, and Edmund Duhaney, 43, were detained pending another hearing on July 11. Joya Williams, a Coke executive assistant, was to be released Thursday on a signature bond.

The suspects arrested Wednesday the day a $1.5 million (Ђ1.2 million) transaction was to occur are charged with stealing confidential information, including a sample of a new drink, from The Coca-Cola Co., and trying to sell it to PepsiCo.

Williams is accused of rifling through corporate files and stuffing documents and a new Coca-Cola product into a personal bag.

The three face charges of wire fraud and unlawfully stealing and selling Coke trade secrets, federal prosecutors said.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi are usually bitter enemies, but when PepsiCo Inc. got a letter offering to sell Coke trade secrets, it went straight to its corporate rival.

Atlanta-based Coke thanked Pepsi for its assistance.

Coke Chief Executive Neville Isdell said in a memo to employees Wednesday the company is cooperating with federal authorities.

"Sadly, today's arrests include an individual within our company," Isdell wrote. "While this breach of trust is difficult for all of us to accept, it underscores the responsibility we each have to be vigilant in protecting our trade secrets. Information is the lifeblood of the company," reports AP.