A Canadian resident of China pleaded guilty in a New York federal court on Thursday to stealing Tesla’s electric-vehicle battery manufacturing trade secrets and conspiring to sell them to undercover government agents, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Klaus Pflugbeil, 58, who operates a China-based business that sells technology used in electric vehicles, faces up to 10 years in prison for plotting with his business partner Yilong Shao to sell Tesla’s secrets to FBI agents posing as Long Island businesspeople, the DOJ said in a statement.

Neither Pflugbeil’s attorney nor representatives for Tesla immediately responded to Reuters’ requests for comment. Shao, who was also charged but remains at large, could not be reached for comment.

“With his guilty plea, Pflugbeil is now being held accountable for this unlawful conduct that jeopardized our national security,” said U.S. Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen in a statement.

Pflugbeil, who is also a German citizen, was charged in New York in March. Prosecutors stated that Pflugbeil and Shao built their EV battery business using trade secrets from a “leading U.S.-based electric vehicle company.”

While the prosecutors did not name the company, they indicated it acquired a Canada-based manufacturer of battery-assembly lines in 2019, which aligns with Tesla’s acquisition of the Canadian company Hibar.

Thursday’s statement noted that both Pflugbeil and Shao previously worked for the Canadian company before Pflugbeil joined Shao’s business in 2020. According to the DOJ, the unnamed business now has locations in China, Canada, Germany, and Brazil, producing the same battery-assembly equipment as their former employer.