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Trade Secret/Economic Espionage Cases - U.S. v. Chang (N.D. Cal.)

Department of Justice


Trade Secret/Economic Espionage Cases

December 4, 2001

U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Northern District of California
11th Floor, Federal Building
450 Golden Gate Avenue,
Box 36055
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 436-7200
Fax: (415) 436-7234

Santa Clara Man Sentenced for Theft of Trade Secrets

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced that Mikahel K. Chang was sentenced today to a term of imprisonment of one year and one day for theft of trade secrets. The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel following a guilty plea on one count of theft of trade secrets in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1832, and admission to criminal forfeiture allegations pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 1834. Mr. Chang, 33 of Santa Clara, California, was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 14, 2000. He was charged with theft of trade secrets and criminal forfeiture allegations. According to the plea agreement and his guilty plea, Mr. Chang admitted to having received, possessed and without authorization appropriated stolen trade secret information belonging to Chang’s former employer, Semi Supply, Inc. of Livermore, California, knowing that the information was stolen, obtained and converted without authorization. Specifically, Mr. Chang admitted to having received, possessed and appropriated without authorization customer and order information in databases relating to Semi Supply’s sales. He also admitted to having made $300,000 in gross sales using the Semi Supply databases, resulting in a $60,000 net profit for him. Judge Fogel sentenced the defendant to a term of imprisonment of one year and one day, as well as a three year period of supervised release. The defendant will begin serving the sentence on January 14, 2002. The Court adopted the United States’ recommendation that the defendant receive a sentence of 12 months under the Sentencing Guidelines. According to public information in the case, the owner and CEO of Semi Supply has said that his company would have been put out of business had it not been for the recovery of the trade secret information by federal law enforcement and this prosecution. The prosecution was the result of an investigation by agents of the High Tech Squad of the San Jose Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which was overseen by the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (“CHIP”) Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Jose. Ross W. Nadel, Chief of the CHIP Unit is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case with the assistance of Lauri Gomez. A copy of this press release and related court documents may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can. All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Jacobs at (415)436-7181.


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