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Ex-Intel Employee Jailed for Stealing Company Secrets

On Wednesday in Boston, Massachusetts, 36-year-old Biswamohan Pani was sentenced to three years in federal prison for allegedly stealing company secrets from Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel. Pani, who back in April pleaded guilty to five counts of stealing trade secrets and wire fraud for violating Intel's confidentiality agreements, was also sentenced to two years of probation and given a $17,500 fine.

According to prosecutors, Pani, a former design engineer at Intel, downloaded secret documents from the chip giant back in June 2008 while supposedly using his final vacation time. Pani officially resigned from the company's Hudson, Mass. office in May, but had also gained employment with rival chipmaker AMD in March 2008, essentially stealing the documents while on both Intel and AMD payrolls months later.

In co-operation with the FBI, AMD later said that it was unaware of Pani's sensitive payload or his Intel employment. The FBI eventually determined that the company had no part in the actual theft, nor was there any evidence that Pani actually shared the information with AMD or any other company. The stolen documents were supposedly for his own use, the FBI said, so that he could advance his career in AMD or elsewhere by referencing it when needed.

"Pani had remotely accessed and downloaded top secret Intel documents from the [Intel] system between June 8 and June 10, 2008, when he was not working on projects for Intel and was purportedly on vacation," FBI Special Agent Timothy Russell of the Boston FBI cyber crimes squad wrote in an affidavit.

Intel reportedly said that after Pani's departure, it suspected he stole documents valued between $200 million and $400 million USD. Intel contacted the local authorities after obtaining substantial proof of the theft.

"The downloaded documents included mission-critical documents describing in detail the process Intel uses for designing its newest generation of microprocessors," the FBI affidavit alleged. "They included confidential and proprietary business information that also constitutes trade secrets."

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  • straw_hat
    And yet when a companies does this - no one pays - how much has been stolen from the public purse for example and yet no one has paid.
    Reply
  • dalethepcman
    Steal 200 million from microsoft, get 3 years and a 17k fine. Steal $1000 from the liquor store, get 20 years and a bullet...
    Reply
  • catbus1
    I don't see how anyone would equate the theft of $200 million+ to 3 years in prison.

    This is just going to encourage employee theft while a disgusting scumbag gets off light to just do it again.
    Reply
  • irh_1974
    catbus1I don't see how anyone would equate the theft of $200 million+ to 3 years in prison.This is just going to encourage employee theft while a disgusting scumbag gets off light to just do it again.Because he didn't steal $200 million, he stole data to the value of, and he never got to use it.

    Plus 3 years in the pen for this pampered office guy will be like 20 years on the chain gang when the gangstas and drug dealers have a party in his cell, he's gonna be walking like John Wayne for the rest of his life.
    Reply
  • greghome
    dalethepcmanSteal 200 million from microsoft, get 3 years and a 17k fine. Steal $1000 from the liquor store, get 20 years and a bullet...The one that got it worst was the owner of Megaupload.......... :(
    Reply
  • Sounds like a civil problem and not one that should have been handled with prison time.
    Reply
  • CaedenV
    catbus1I don't see how anyone would equate the theft of $200 million+ to 3 years in prison.This is just going to encourage employee theft while a disgusting scumbag gets off light to just do it again.if he had used the data in any way he would be facing life in prison. But as it is he will be in jail for 1 year (out early to make room for real criminals), and he will never be able to find a job in the tech industry ever again.
    Reply
  • NuclearShadow
    Corporate espionage is very much a real thing this makes me wonder if he was planning on making AMD a victim of the same act. There very much could be a unknown third party involved in this that he could have or intended to share the info with.
    Reply
  • nebun
    straw_hatAnd yet when a companies does this - no one pays - how much has been stolen from the public purse for example and yet no one has paid.you got it all wrong...this is different, much different
    Reply
  • dns7950
    I refuse to believe AMD would hire one of Intel's design engineers without knowing he worked for Intel.. That's the kind of thing you put on your resume.. Since they're probably lying about that, i would hazard a guess that they also knew he had stolen sensitive documents.. Shame on AMD. I'm glad I've never bought an AMD processor and never will. Makes me laugh that they get stolen documents from Intel, and their processors still suck compared to Intel
    Reply