Irvin Ebaugh IV has been accused of stealing about 27,000 files before being fired from his job at Hardwire LLC. He had served as vice president and program manager for the company. Then as they began to suspect Ebaugh of Industrial Espionage, he was told to leave, but refused, fighting his way out of the building carrying a thumb drive. The drive held data and files about bridge blast and ballistic protection technology.
Theft Results in New Company Being Form
Ebaugh used this information to start his own company, Infrastructure Armor LLC, a business that would be in direct competition with Hardwire. Ebaugh’s new company was able to win the bid in New York to retrofit the Kosciuszko Bridge.
Hardwire LLC has filed a $40 million lawsuit claiming that Ebaugh and his company jeopardized national security by stealing the technology. Though he successfully won the bid to retrofit the Bridge, his company was unable to complete the job successfully. His new company did not have the expertise to install the armor properly. This left the bridge open to threats from terrorists. This is one of the main points in the lawsuit, that the bridge is now vulnerable to terrorists.
The lawsuit also claims that Ebaugh shared very sensitive data about Hardwire’s proprietary technology. In addition, it alleges that Ebaugh has shared this sensitive information with domestic and foreign parties who may be able use it to against the U.S. If proven, this could be a charge of treason for Ebaugh.
National Security Violation
In the lawsuit, which is now still pending, Hardwire alleges that Ebaugh and his company posted a video on the Infrastructure Armor website that reveals important details about the Kosciuszko Bridge project. They claim that this violates security protocols.
Since the beginning of the lawsuit, Ebaugh and one of his employees have been photographed by the New York Post involved in improperly installing bridge components. They’ve been seen and photographed installing straps around a crucial shield on the bridge cables. The lawsuit alleges that certain parts of the bridge’s structure were supposed to be painted with special aluminum paint to protect them against corrosion. With these flaws, the bridge will not be safe for travel.
Ebaugh and IA have filed a response with the U.S. District Court in Maryland (Northern Division), denying all allegations.
The FBI is currently investigating the claim of espionage and the theft of the Hardwire files and data. The lawsuit is scheduled for trial on March 19th of this year but Ebaugh has stated that he wants to represent himself in court. However, the court system has ruled that he must have an attorney present.
Infrastructure such as the bridge in question, must be built with special components to prevent against terrorists attacks. These include cutting, blasting, fire and ballistic threats. Under the SAFETY Act, companies must include these solutions when designing and building major bridges.
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