A former Intel engineer has admitted to stealing information from the chip manufacturer to advance his career at AMD.
Biswamohan Pani – who pleaded guilty to five fraud counts before US District Judge F. Dennis Saylor in Massachusetts – confirmed he had stolen “valuable computer chip manufacturing and design documents from his former employer.”
Pani worked at Intel’s chip-making plant in Hudson, Massachusetts and officially left on June 11, 2008.
He began working at AMD on June 2, yet still maintained advanced access to Intel’s data system.
“Unbeknownst to Intel, Pani had started downloading from Intel computers numerous secret documents about Intel’s manufacturing and design of computer chips,” the Justice Department said in a statement cited by Bloomberg.
Santa Clara has reportedly placed a value of $200 million-$400 million on the documents that Pani admitted to stealing – which were subsequently seized by federal agents.
“The FBI was able to recover these documents quickly, before Pani could use them to Intel’s disadvantage, largely because Intel reported the theft quickly and assisted the investigation,” the DOJ explained.
“AMD also cooperated with the investigation,” and there was no evidence the rival chip company asked Pani to take the data or even knew he had it.
Pani – who will be sentenced on August 8 – faces as long as 20 years in prison on each fraud count.