Arrest made after sale of marketing plan Philadelphia woman apprehended at hotel

November 21, 1990|By Knight-Ridder News Service

PHILADELPHIA -- The owner of a Newtown Square, Pa., video production company was arrested by FBI agents at a hotel near Philadelphia International Airport yesterday after she disguised herself and tried to sell a secret SmithKline Beecham marketing plan to one of the drug maker's main competitors, authorities said.

Rebecca J. Lindquester, 42, was arrested in the parking lot of the Airport Marriott, FBI agents said, moments after they saw her turn over papers and receive $25,000 from a security officer employed by Glaxo Inc. Glaxo had notified the FBI after the woman initially contacted them.

Glaxo makes the anti-ulcer drug Zantac, the main competitor to Tagamet, an ulcer treatment made by SmithKline, whose U.S. headquarters are in Philadelphia.

In an affidavit, Special Agent Walter E. Edwards of the FBI said that after she got the $25,000, Ms. Lindquester, who was wearing a long, curly dark-blond wig and a flower-print dress, went into the women's room in the hotel.

Agents said she emerged minutes later with short blond hair and an austere black pantsuit. She was arrested as she got into a BMW in the hotel parking lot. A dress and wig were found in the women's room.

Prosecutors say Ms. Lindquester, who along with her husband, David, owns Horizon Productions of Newtown Square, obtained the marketing plan Sept. 5 when SmithKline asked her to bid on a contract to produce a videotape to train sales representatives on a new use for Tagamet.

The anti-ulcer drug is SmithKline's biggest seller, with annual sales of hundreds of millions of dollars. The company spent $500,000 to $1 million developing a new marketing strategy for the drug, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney William Carr.

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