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Former Intel Employee Pleads Guilty to Data Theft

By - Source: Bloomberg | B 29 comments

36-year Biswamohan Pani old has pleaded guilty of stealing chip design documents valued at several hundred million dollars from his former employer Intel.

The engineer quit his job at Intel on June 11 of 2008, but joined AMD on June 2, while he was still able to access Intel's servers. Pani downloaded "numerous" confidential documents that were originally estimated to be worth about $1 billion, but were tagged by Intel with a value of about $200 to $400 million later on. The engineer apparently intended to advance his career by bringing the documents to AMD.

The FBI, which led the investigation, said that no information has actually reached AMD as Intel quickly reported the theft. Pani was originally charged with data fraud in August of 2008.

AMD was said to have cooperated with the investigation. According to the FBI, there is no evidence that anyone at AMD knew that Pani had the information and there were no signs that anyone at AMD asked Pani for the documents. Sentencing is scheduled for August 8. Each count of fraud carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.

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  • 16 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , April 9, 2012 7:29 PM
    The data he prob stole was from the Intel Atom and AMD took a look at it and said, if we design our chips in the future around this, we will surely go bankrupt no thanks. LOL
  • 15 Hide
    ringzero , April 9, 2012 7:51 PM
    Parsian"36-year Biswamohan Pani old has pleaded guilty of stealing chip..."Folks, for the sake of professionalism, please proofread your articles.


    I have a years 9 child old who would do a better job than are they currently.
  • 14 Hide
    house70 , April 9, 2012 7:14 PM
    20 years? For each?
    I wonder how many years the fraudsters from the banks and other financial institutions will get.
    Oh, right, nevermind. They all got promoted or played musical chairs between jobs.
    This one dude gets the shaft, though, because he defrauded a corporation. Not that I applaud what he did, but when it's the other way around, nothing happens to said corporations.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    coreym72 , April 9, 2012 7:14 PM
    As long as AMD is in the clear for not knowing then justice is served. You can give me a $400 million chip design but it doesn’t do me any good with only a soldering iron. :) 
  • 14 Hide
    house70 , April 9, 2012 7:14 PM
    20 years? For each?
    I wonder how many years the fraudsters from the banks and other financial institutions will get.
    Oh, right, nevermind. They all got promoted or played musical chairs between jobs.
    This one dude gets the shaft, though, because he defrauded a corporation. Not that I applaud what he did, but when it's the other way around, nothing happens to said corporations.
  • 10 Hide
    Northwestern , April 9, 2012 7:18 PM
    house7020 years? For each?I wonder how many years the fraudsters from the banks and other financial institutions will get.Oh, right, nevermind. They all got promoted or played musical chairs between jobs. This one dude gets the shaft, though, because he defrauded a corporation. Not that I applaud what he did, but when it's the other way around, nothing happens to said corporations.

    Welcome to America! Would you like the capitalist schlong in your mouth now or later?
  • -8 Hide
    kcorp2003 , April 9, 2012 7:26 PM
    Well that was a stupid move by him. but he was still employed at the time he downloaded it, which means he was allowed to do so and AMD has nothing to do with this or there's no evidence that the information was ever provided to AMD. If he had a good lawyer he could have gotten away with this. Correct me if i'm wrong but usually if you work for a company with secretive information they do a security search you before you leave?
  • 16 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , April 9, 2012 7:29 PM
    The data he prob stole was from the Intel Atom and AMD took a look at it and said, if we design our chips in the future around this, we will surely go bankrupt no thanks. LOL
  • 13 Hide
    Murissokah , April 9, 2012 7:51 PM
    If these "chip design documents" were for x86 processors, its quite obvious AMD has not accessed them.
  • 15 Hide
    ringzero , April 9, 2012 7:51 PM
    Parsian"36-year Biswamohan Pani old has pleaded guilty of stealing chip..."Folks, for the sake of professionalism, please proofread your articles.


    I have a years 9 child old who would do a better job than are they currently.
  • 11 Hide
    buddhabelly34 , April 9, 2012 8:01 PM
    ringzeroI have a years 9 child old who would do a better job than are they currently.

    Irony at it's finest.
  • 14 Hide
    buddhabelly34 , April 9, 2012 8:03 PM
    buddhabelly34Irony at it's finest.

    Oh jeez... its*** HAHAHAHAHA
  • 2 Hide
    boiler1990 , April 9, 2012 8:27 PM
    kcorp2003Well that was a stupid move by him. but he was still employed at the time he downloaded it, which means he was allowed to do so and AMD has nothing to do with this or there's no evidence that the information was ever provided to AMD. If he had a good lawyer he could have gotten away with this. Correct me if i'm wrong but usually if you work for a company with secretive information they do a security search you before you leave?

    There are these things called non-disclosure agreements and proprietary information, both of which apply at all times regardless of your employer.

    Even if you were a government employee, it doesn't mean you can just download and share classified/secret/top secret materials with other people, especially those outside of the government.
  • 1 Hide
    trumpeter1994 , April 9, 2012 8:32 PM
    I wonder what chips the documents covered..... maybe older i7 designs or something?
  • 6 Hide
    TeraMedia , April 9, 2012 8:46 PM
    Too bad his name is too long and complex to become some type of cultural standard. Now none of us will get much comedic value out of this debacle of thought-absenteeism.
  • 3 Hide
    husker , April 9, 2012 8:47 PM
    house7020 years? For each?I wonder how many years the fraudsters from the banks and other financial institutions will get.Oh, right, nevermind. They all got promoted or played musical chairs between jobs. This one dude gets the shaft, though, because he defrauded a corporation. Not that I applaud what he did, but when it's the other way around, nothing happens to said corporations.

    Care to give even one specific example? Or are they just so "numerous" that it is impossible to pick one? My suspicion is that any specific example you can give can be easily shown to be nothing like your general argument makes it out to be. Keep in mind you stated that corporations and/or responsible parties in said corporations were knowingly rewarded or promoted for defrauding the public. I await eagerly for your response...
  • 1 Hide
    cookoy , April 9, 2012 9:03 PM
    Some companies put restrictions on key personnel who have access to highly confidential and high value information from joining direct competitors when they leave. It's good the FBI did the investigation otherwise Intel would be accusing AMD of orchestrating the theft.
  • 1 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , April 9, 2012 9:44 PM
    I wouldn't say this is fraud really. I would say it is industrial espionage which can be more serious because it is irreversible because what has been learned cannot be unlearned.
  • 0 Hide
    TeraMedia , April 9, 2012 9:50 PM
    @cookoy:

    While this is true, in most cases the restrictions are unenforceable in the state of California. The state decided during the internet bust that having thousands of people who were perfectly capable, but unable to work at a viable company because they were legally tied to an unviable one might not be such a good thing. So they lowered their unemployment costs by making such employment contract clauses null-and-void. In most cases. From what I've seen, even the CxO level gets some leeway with such terms, and the burden is on the previous employer to show that not only is the transition damaging due to strategic competitive intelligence, but also that the individual could reasonably get a similar job but in a non-competing role.
  • 0 Hide
    aftcomet , April 9, 2012 10:20 PM
    buddhabelly34Oh jeez... its*** HAHAHAHAHA


    I love how 3 people corrected each others' grammar and they all made mistakes.
  • 4 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 9, 2012 10:36 PM
    Shame. If you're an engineer, you have standards of ethics and morals to hold up.
  • 3 Hide
    aoneone , April 9, 2012 10:51 PM
    kinda like sharing confidential secrets in the nuclear navy.. dont do it ^_^
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