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Last Updated: Monday, 23 October 2006, 18:26 GMT 19:26 UK
Coca-Cola plot pair plead guilty
Coca-Cola logo painted on a wall
Coca-Cola's recipe has been made a trade secret for 120 years
Two men accused of plotting to steal trade secrets from Coca-Cola and sell them to rival PepsiCo have pleaded guilty in a US federal court.

Ibrahim Dimson and Edmund Duhaney admitted the charge of conspiracy and could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when sentenced.

A third defendant, former Coca-Cola secretary Joya Williams, is due to stand trial on 13 November.

She is accused of stealing samples and giving them to the men to sell.

Undercover FBI

Assistant US attorney Bjay Pak said Mr Duhaney had made his plea as part of a deal with prosecutors, and was likely to co-operate if Ms Williams came to trial.

The three were charged on 11 July with stealing product samples and confidential documents from Coca-Cola and trying to sell them to PepsiCo's Pepsi unit.

After the offer was made, PepsiCo contacted Coca-Cola and co-operated with FBI officials who held undercover meetings with Mr Dimson.

Investigators arranged a fake sale of the material for $1.5m (800,000) and caught Ms Williams on camera putting papers and samples in her bag, the prosecution said.

She was an administrative assistant for Coke's global brand director at the firm's Atlanta headquarters.

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