Federal prosecutors in Massachusetts have charged 33-year-old Biswamohan Pani with stealing more than $1 billion in trade secrets from chipmaker Intel. And while we imagine the circumstances could be more convoluted, the reality is complicated enough.
According to the indictment, earlier this year Pani was working for Intel and gave notice that he planned to leave his job, eating through accumulated vacation time while seeking a job at a hedge fund. Instead, Pani had taken a job at rival chipmaker AMD and used his vacation time on-site at Intel downloading documents, including (according to the Boston Business Journal) items Intel classified as “confidential” or “top secret.”
Prosecutors say that AMD had no knowledge of the theft and did not benefit from Pani’s actions. According to reports, Pani claims to have taken the information to give to his wife, who was also an Intel employee.
In the meantime, AMD has announced it is laying off 500 employees in unspecified areas of the company to increase its operational efficiency. “Today’s announced headcount reduction is an unfortunate but necessary part of this process to help us align our people with the focused programs that achieve our objectives, eliminate duplication of efforts and allow us to operate more efficiently,” AMD said in a statement.
AMD recently announced a partnership to spin off manufacturing in a new joint venture called The Foudnry Company with investment partners from Abu Dhabi.