Feds Charge Ex-Intel Employee with Taking $1 Billion in Trade Secrets

A former Intel employee, who had just taken a job with rival Advanced Micro Devices, has been indicted by federal prosecutors and charged with taking about $1 billion in trade secrets as he left Intel for AMD. In a statement, AMD said the man no longer works for the chip maker and AMD is cooperating with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts.

A former Intel employee, who has left for another position with rival Advanced Micro Devices, has been charged by federal prosecutors with taking nearly $1 billion in processor trade secrets from the chip giant, according to published reports.

The five-count indictment charges that Biswamohan Pani downloaded about a dozen technical papers from Intel as he prepared to leave for another job at AMD. All together, the papers held about $1 billion worth of research and development secrets, including designs for microprocessors, according to a Nov. 6 report in the Associated Press.

The case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts and the FBI. Pani's attorney denied the charges, according to the Associated Press. If convicted, Pani could face a maximum sentence of 10 years for taking the trade secrets, plus an additional 20 years for wire fraud.

The indictment was handed down the week of Nov. 3. Pani appears to have downloaded the documents during a four-day period in June.

In a statement, AMD spokesman Michael Silverman wrote that Pani is no longer working with AMD. AMD is cooperating with federal prosecutors and the FBI. The Associated Press reported that AMD did not know that Pani took the papers from Intel as he waited to join the company.

"AMD is cooperating fully in the FBI investigation into this matter," Silverman wrote in an e-mail to eWEEK. "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."