Tuesday, October 28, 2008, 10/28/2008 04:22:00 PM

Stylish Trade Secrets?

From Women’s Wear Daily, a story concerning federal charges against two former employees of fashion trade show organizer ENK International with conspiracy Monday after the pair allegedly tried to steal confidential business information about retail buyers and trade show guests.

Prosecutors from the Southern District of New York claims that Morgan Gantt, 24, used company computers in August to send her former colleague Jeffrey White, 27, the confidential information. White had been fired the previous month for insubordination. The alleged transmittals occurred on company computers and Blackberries.

According to the story, the U.S. Attorney charged Gantt and White with one count each of conspiracy to commit unauthorized computer access and conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets. Each faces a maximum 11-year sentence if convicted.

The story also says that the company filed a separate civil complaint against both defendants in September accusing each of theft of “its client contacts, pricing information and other client confidences.”

Since, as readers of this blog well know, the activities described are a regular workplace occurrence, the question arises – particularly in light of the earlier-filed civil action – why the feds would be interested in pursuing this particular case as a federal criminal matter.

Your guess is as good as mine.

Editor's note: only one of the two editors of this blog routinely read Women's Wear Daily. That would be Press. Not Todd.

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