Former HP printing exec indicted

Atul Malhotra is accused of sharing confidential information from his former employer, IBM, while working at Hewlett-Packard.

A former vice president of Hewlett-Packard's printing division has been indicted by federal prosecutors for allegedly sharing with HP confidential information from his previous employer.

First reported by Wired, the indictment was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif. As director of sales and business development in IBM's printing division in March 2006, Atul Malhotra allegedly requested confidential information about IBM pricing. Just two months later, Malhotra took the position of vice president of HP's printing division.

In the indictment, prosecutors say Malhotra e-mailed the IBM information, marked "confidential," to an unnamed HP senior vice president on July 25, 2006, and again to another HP senior vice president two days later.

He was fired shortly thereafter, in September 2006, according to HP.

"The activity with which Malhotra is charged was in direct violation of clear HP policies, including HP Standards of Business Conduct," the company said in a statement. "HP detected this activity, conducted an internal investigation, terminated Malhotra's employment from HP, and reported the activity to appropriate enforcement agencies and to IBM. HP has cooperated fully with the government's investigation."

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