updated 5/31/2007 8:51:51 PM ET 2007-06-01T00:51:51

A lawyer for a former Coca-Cola secretary notified a federal court Thursday that she was appealing her client's conviction and eight-year prison sentence for conspiring to steal trade secrets from the world's largest beverage maker.

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Janice Singer filed a brief notice of appeal on behalf of her client, Joya Williams, in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, where The Coca-Cola Co. is based.

The notice did not state a basis for the appeal of Williams' "conviction as well as the judgment and sentence," and there were no further appeal documents immediately filed with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. Supporting documents are typically filed later.

Last week, a federal judge ignored Williams' plea for mercy and sentenced her to eight years in prison. The 42-year-old was convicted of conspiracy on Feb. 2 following a jury trial.

Williams had faced up to 10 years in prison on the single conspiracy charge in a failed scheme to sell Coke's trade secrets to rival PepsiCo Inc. for at least $1.5 million.

But sentencing guidelines, which federal judges are not bound by, called for a sentence of 63 months to 78 months.

U.S. District Judge J. Owen Forrester said the sentence he imposed was warranted given the seriousness of the case.

A co-defendant, Ibrahim Dimson, was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty. Both were also ordered to pay $40,000 restitution, and they will be on supervised release for three years after being released from prison.

A third defendant, Edmund Duhaney, pleaded guilty to conspiracy. Duhaney is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday, according to his lawyer, Don Samuel.

The government said Williams stole confidential documents and samples of products that hadn't been launched by Coca-Cola and gave them to Dimson and Duhaney as part of a conspiracy to sell the items to rival Pepsi.

The conspiracy was foiled after Pepsi warned Coca-Cola that it had received a letter in May 2006 offering Coca-Cola trade secrets to the "highest bidder." The FBI launched an undercover investigation and identified the letter writer as Dimson.

Williams was fired as a secretary to Coca-Cola's global brand director after the allegations came to light.

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