Intel employee jailed for trying to steal trade secrets

/ 4 years ago

A former Intel employee has been given a three year jail sentence after being found guilty of stealing company secrets worth millions. Biswamohan Pani, 36, stole chip manufacturing and design documents worth between $200 million and $400 million from the chip giant in May 2008 after announcing his resignation.

Unsurprisingly his next port of call was to take up employment with then-rival chip manufacturer AMD. The man pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud and was given a three year sentence, in addition to two years probation and a fine of $17,500.

AMD said it had no idea of Pani’s actions (no surprises there) but its nice to know they cooperated fully with the investigation and helped Intel patch up its Internal security so that something like this doesn’t happen again.

Although the outcome was favourable for both parties, and only the thief involved lost out, it just goes to show how much damage a single rogue employee can do. Imagine an AMD employee leaking $200-400 million worth of design secrets to another company – it could be enough to put the final nail in the coffin for AMD. Thankfully for Intel, it is more financially able to deal with taking a signficant hit like that but this time it didn’t need to and justice was done. Competition is a good thing, but stealing is a totally different ball game.