Monday, September 15, 2008, 9/15/2008 01:52:00 PM

Ex-Intel Employee Accused of Misappropriating Intel Trade Secrets

By Todd
In a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday, the FBI alleged that Biswahoman Pani of Worcester copied a host of confidential Intel documents, including 13 "top secret" company files containing highly sensitive design plans for future processor chips. In the complaint, filed in late August in US District Court in Boston, FBI Special Agent Timothy Russell of the bureau's Boston computer crime squad said in an affidavit that more than 100 pages of sensitive Intel documents, as well as 19 computer-aided-design drawings, were found in a search of Pani's house conducted on July 1.

According to the affidavit, Pani told his supervisor in May that he was unhappy because he missed his wife, Vandana Padhi, who worked at an Intel facility in California. On May 29, Intel agreed to transfer Padhi to the Hudson plant. But a few hours later, Pani handed in his resignation, saying he was interested in taking a job with a hedge fund. Pani said he would leave the company on June 11, and would be on vacation until that date, but that his wife would continue to work at Intel.

However, Russell said, unbeknownst to Intel officials, Pani had been discussing a possible job at AMD for several months. He began working for AMD on June 2, eight days before his employment at Intel ended. Pani still had access to his Intel laptop and the company's computer network. Russell said Pani used this access to collect sensitive documents that might have provided valuable competitive intelligence for his new employer.

The FBI was called in after an Intel employee learned about Pani's job with AMD and ordered a check of the computer system to see if Pani had accessed confidential documents.

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