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A former Intel employee who quit to work for AMD has been indicted in trade secrets theft

A federal grand jury has indicted a former Intel employee whom the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has accused of stealing trade secrets from the company.

Biswamohan Pani, 33, allegedly was found with more than 100 pages of Intel documents, with 13 "top secret" file also discovered inside his residence.  Intel put more than $1 billion of research and development money into the documents Pani stole, which includes future CPU designs.

"The indictment was not a surprise," said Bradford Bailey, Pani's attorney.  "We knew it was coming.  We will enter a plea of not guilty when an arraignment date is set, and he will vigorously contest the charges because he is innocent."

Pani submitted his resignation at Intel in May 2008, and planned on working until June 11, but began working for Advanced Micro Devices on June 2.  When he started his job at AMD, he still had an Intel laptop and access to the internal Intel network.

During a search of his home in early July, the FBI found eight different documents that were classified as "secret," "top secret" and "confidential."  AMD did not request he steal the information or knew anything about his actions, the federal government believes.

"AMD has not been accused of wrongdoing, and the FBI has stated that there is no evidence that AMD had any involvement in or awareness of Mr. Pani's alleged actions," AMD said in a statement published by the Associated Press.

According to Pani, he took the files to help his wife work on a project, who is currently employed by Intel.  Intel quickly pointed out the files would have served no use for his wife.

Pani now faces four counts of wire fraud and one count of theft of trade secrets.  He faces up to 10 years on the single count of theft of trade secrets and up to 20 years for each count of wire fraud.

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RE: Back-asswards, much?
By eyebeeemmpawn on 11/7/2008 7:38:47 AM , Rating: 2
A Billion dollars according to Intel. I can't really understand why intel still allowed him access to their network after he had left the company. I have read that he was still on the intel payroll and was using his remaining vacation time. If the information was that valuable, it seems to me that intel IT may have dropped the ball, allowing access to sensitive data to a defecting employee.

Something makes me suspect that this is being hyped to smokescreen the unfair trade practice cases. <flame shields on>

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By radializer on 11/7/2008 9:47:12 PM , Rating: 2
A Billion dollars according to Intel. I can't really understand why intel still allowed him access to their network after he had left the company.

If you read the article, it states that he was scheduled to quit Intel on June 11 (and was probably not physically at work for the last 1~2 weeks using up his remaining vacation time - as you mentioned).

However, he started working for AMD on June 2 - at which point he was still an Intel employee, and this is the main issue. Traditionally, one wouldn't expect a company to yank your network access every time you go on vacation - you will have network privileges as long as you are an employee.

However, I agree that most companies in the tech sector seem to be more paranoid about such stuff (especially considering he had given notice of intent to leave) and I am surprised his access wasn't yanked anyway.

After all, it was Andy Grove who said that any company needs to have a healthy dose of paranoia.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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