Former Intel worker charged in theft of secret files

An engineer who once worked for Intel has been charged with stealing trade secrets from the company after he was hired by rival AMD.

The FBI has charged an engineer with stealing trade secrets from Intel, his former employer, after taking a position with rival chip maker Advanced Micro Devices, The Boston Globe reported Friday.

A search of Biswahoman Pani's home in Worcester, Mass., on July 1 turned up more than 100 pages of sensitive Intel documents, including 13 "top secret" files with designs for future processor chips, the FBI charged. A criminal complaint against Pani, which was unsealed Tuesday, was filed by the FBI in late August in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Pani turned in his resignation to Intel in May, stating he would continue working there through June 11, according to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint. However, he began working for AMD on June 2, while he still had access to his Intel laptop and the company's computer network. The affidavit said Pani collected the sensitive information from Intel for its competitive value to his new employer.

Pani admitted to the FBI during a July 23 interview that he obtained the files but only out of curiosity and to aid his wife, also an Intel employee, prepare for a transfer to a new Intel plant.

Intel asked the FBI and the Justice Department to intervene after learning about Pani's job at AMD from another Intel employee. The FBI said there is no evidence that AMD knew of or encouraged Pani's actions or ever received the confidential Intel files. Pani is no longer employed by AMD, his attorney told the Globe.

Pani was ordered to surrender his passport, but he was not taken into custody.

Representatives from Intel and AMD could not be reached immediately for comment.

 

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