Today an ex-Intel engineer plead guilty and was convicted of five counts of wire fraud, admitting that he stole design and manufacturing documents from the chipmaker after he had begun working for rival AMD. According to prosecutors, Biswamohan Pani gave notice of his intentions to leave Intel on May 29, 2008, neglecting to tell the company that he had already accepted a new job offer from AMD. Instead, he asked for additional vacation time before his departure. Pani, who had already begun downloading documents from Intel's computers, used the vacation time to begin his new job at AMD — after which he procured even more Intel documents. Pani's last day at Intel was on June 11th, 2008.
Intel, which valued the documents at a minimum of between $200 to $400 million, noticed the theft and involved authorities. Electronic and physical copies of the materials were discovered in Pani's apartment during an FBI search a month later. Pani, who now faces up to 20 years in prison for each count, reportedly stole the documents in order to further his career at AMD or elsewhere. However, authorities say that AMD was cooperative throughout the investigation, and that none of the stolen materials were spread or used against Intel.