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Trio indicted in Coke case

ATLANTA - Three people were indicted Tuesday on a conspiracy charge arising from what prosecutors say was a plot to steal confidential information from The Coca-Cola Co. and sell it to a competitor.

The federal grand jury indictment charges Joya Williams, Ibrahim Dimson and Edmund Duhaney with a single count of conspiracy.

Williams, 41, of Norcross, Dimson, 30, of New York and Duhaney, 43, of Decatur, faced arraignment Tuesday afternoon.

The government is seeking forfeiture of any property derived from proceeds of the alleged crime.

The three were arrested last week on charges of wire fraud and unlawfully stealing and selling Coke trade secrets. The indictment sets the case on course for trial.

Prosecutors charge they stole confidential information, including a sample of a new drink, from Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and tried to sell it to rival PepsiCo Inc.

According to prosecutors, on May 19, Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo provided Coke with a copy of a letter mailed to PepsiCo in an official Coca-Cola business envelope. The letter, postmarked from the Bronx in New York, was from an

individual identifying himself as ''Dirk,'' who claimed to be a high-level employee with Coca-Cola and offered ''very detailed and confidential information.'' ''Dirk'' was later identified as Dimson, the FBI says.

Coca-Cola immediately contacted the FBI and an undercover FBI investigation began.