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A Renault espionage scandal that turned into an espionage hoax scandal soaked up four months of people's lives in early 2011 and resulted in the resignation of company COO Patrick Pelata. An informant with some bad information who was paid €250,000 told Renault that three executives had sold electric vehicle technology to the Chinese and were laundering their money in secret accounts in Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Renault fired the executives, and when the whole thing began to fall apart

On March 10th, we reported that the industrial espionage case – or was it fraud or a scandalous hoax – involving three top Renault execs and the automaker's electric vehicle secrets was swirling out of control. The chaos had gotten so out of hand that a source told Reuters that:

Carlos Ghosn at the Nissan Leaf battery plant groundbreaking – Click above for high-res image gallery

The industrial espionage case – or was it fraud or a scandalous hoax – involving three top Renault execs and the automaker's electric vehicle secrets is swirling out of control. So much so that Renault-Nissan chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn may need assistance from Patrick Pelata, the automaker's chief operating officer, to protect the CEO from losing his job, according to Automotive News (sub. req.).

The industrial espionage case involving three top Renault execs, some of the automaker's electric vehicle secrets and possibly even China continues. In early January, the French carmaker officially filed an accusation against a undisclosed company tied to a foreign power, according to Jean-Claude Marin, a Paris prosecutor, in a report posted by Reuters. This espionage case has grown to such a level that French industry manager Eric Besson stated that the nation was facing an "economic war" over

Last month Renault became the second manufacturer participating in F1 this year to be accused of spying on its competitors. In this case, the Renault team was accused of "unauthorized possession of documents and confidential information" pertaining to McLaren's F1 cars. We recognize the ironic twist of fate that McLaren was accused and convicted of spying on Ferrari last summer and penalized by being stripped of all its constructors' championship points for the 2007 season and fined a record $10

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