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



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January 2, 2001
 

 Two San Jose Men Plead Guilty in Theft of Trade Secrets Case

January 2, 2001


            The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California announced  that Mikahel K. Chang pled guilty today to theft of a trade secret and criminal forfeitures.  Also, Daniel Park pled guilty to aiding and abetting criminal copyright infringement.

            Mr. Chang, 32, and Mr. Park, 33, both of San Jose, California were indicted by a federal Grand Jury on June 14, 2000.  Both defendants were charged with one count of theft of a trade secret in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1832(a)(1) and (a)(3). Mr. Chang was charged with two counts of criminal forfeiture pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1834(a)(1) and (a)(2).  Mr. Park was charged with one count of criminal forfeiture pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 1834(a)(2).
Under the plea agreements, Mr. Chang pled guilty to all three counts and Mr. Park pled guilty to a superseding information charging the criminal copyright infringement violation.

            In pleading guilty, Mr. Chang admitted to having received, possessed and without authorization appropriated stolen trade secret information belonging to Mr. Chang's former employer, Semi Supply, Inc. of Livermore, California, knowing such information to have been 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.

            In pleading guilty, Mr. Park admitted to having aided and abetted the willful infringement of a copyright for purposes of commercial advantage and private financial gain.  Mr. Park admitted to having aided and abetted the willful infringement of a copyright by accessing a FoxPro database program, which he knew had been copied without authorization and which had been infringed for the purposes of commercial advantage and private financial gain.  Specifically, Mr. Park admitted that the FoxPro database program was used to access the stolen trade secret information belonging to Semi Supply.

            The sentencing of Mr. Chang is scheduled for July 10, 2001 at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Fogel in San Jose.  The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of the theft of trade secrets statute is 10 years imprisonment, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or twice the gross loss (whichever is greatest), plus restitution if appropriate.  However, the actual sentence will be dictated by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, and will be imposed in the discretion of the Court.
 The sentencing of Mr. Park is scheduled for April 3, 2001 at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Fogel in San Jose.  The maximum statutory penalty for this violation of the criminal copyright statute is 1 year imprisonment, and a fine of $100,000, plus restitution if appropriate.  Again, the actual sentence will be dictated by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, and will be imposed in the discretion of the Court.

            The prosecution is the result of an investigation by agents of the High Tech Squad 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.  Ross W. Nadel and Mavis Lee are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who prosecuted the case with the assistance of legal technician Lauri Gomez.

            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; fax (415) 436-7234; pager (888) 863-1957; or Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth de la Vega in San Jose at (408) 535-5032.

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