ATLANTA: Facing a prison sentence of up to ten years plus a $250,000 fine, two local men on Tuesday entered a guilty plea to charges of conspiring to steal and sell Coca-Cola trade secrets to arch-rival PepsiCo.

Also arraigned alongside Ibrahim Dimson (30) and Edmund Duhaney (43) is ex-marketing department administrative assistant Joya Williams, who allegedly passed samples of new products and confidential company documents to the two men. She pleads not guilty to the charges.

Orates state attorney David E Nahmias: "Economic espionage should be treated very seriously. Maintaining the incentives to create new and innovative products and allowing the innovators to reap the benefits of their inventions are critical to the growth of our economy."

The trial continues.

Data sourced from AdAge (USA); additional content by WARC staff