SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say four Silicon Valley executives have been charged in an alleged conspiracy to steal trade secrets from their employer, an unnamed semiconductor manufacturer in Santa Clara.

The U.S. Department of Justice is accusing Liang Chen, Donald Olgado, Wei-Yung Hsu and Robert Ewald of conspiring to use stolen information in a competing startup based in the U.S. and China.

The company is not named in the indictment but The Mercury News in San Jose reports Thursday public records show that the men were employed by semiconductor company Applied Materials Inc. of Santa Clara around 2012, the time of the alleged crime.

Prosecutors say the men downloaded information, including 16,000 drawings, about technology related to the high-volume manufacturing of semiconductor wafers to be used in lighting and electronic devices.

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Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com

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