Local News

Woman charged with stealing computer files from Cree

Posted June 3, 2016

— A Cary woman has been charged with illegally accessing and altering computer files at Durham-based LED manufacturer Cree Inc., according to an arrest warrant.

Huili Cui, 50, of 521 Denhoff Drive, is charged with felony accessing computers and larceny by employee. She was initially held in the Durham County jail under a $1 million bond following her Wednesday arrest, but that was lowered to $100,000 on Friday.

According to an arrest warrant, Cui began accessing Cree documents, files and client lists through the company's computer system in April and took confidential information and modified it without authorization. The warrant also states that Cui took the documents and data with the intention of stealing from Cree.

Cree spokesman Cameron Reed declined to comment on Cui's arrest, saying it is part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

The Durham County Sheriff's Office said the FBI is assisting with the investigation because federal charges are possible in the case. The FBI declined to comment.

Two days after the alleged activity began at Cree, Cui's home was broken into and ransacked, but nothing was stolen, according to an incident report from the Cary Police Department.

Authorities wouldn't say if the break-in could be connected to Cui's employment at Cree.


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  • Jeff Herring Jun 9, 2016
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    Very suspicious that her home was broken into, possibly secret intelligence warrant. cree is a darling of the intelligence community.

  • Sara Hauser Jun 4, 2016
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    Not too bright on her part. When you are logged on with your unique password, your every move is being tracked.

  • Craig Elliott Jun 4, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    +1 on that. This doesn't look like simply skimming from the till, it looks more like industrial espionage.

    There are some nations that underwrite industrial espionage to benefit their economies. I wouldn't be surprised if this was such a case, given the nature of the theft and the victim's line of business.

  • Charles Boyer Jun 4, 2016
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    This could very well be a case of industrial espionage, where customer lists, pricing, supplier data and the like was stolen in order to aid on of Cree's overseas competitors. It's also very possible that the break-in was to cover the tracks of that activity.

    This case definitely calls for more thorough investigation.

  • Janet Ghumri Jun 4, 2016
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    String her up, if she is found guilty, of course Embezzlement and other theft by employees is becoming increasingly more rampant. I was raised that when you work for someone, and they are paying you for your time and skills, you work for their interests. If you are unhappy, you have the right to leave. To accept your agreed upon wages, you are honor bound to perform your job as well as possible. No questions. Where has honor gone?