San Francisco Man Arrested on Charges of Trade Secrets
(November 21, 2000)
The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California
announced that Peter Morch, a resident of San Francisco and a citizen of
Canada and Denmark, was arrested yesterday pursuant to a criminal complaint
charging him with theft of trade secrets in violation of Title 18, United
States Code, Section 1832.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint,
Mr. Morch recently resigned from his position as a software engineer at
Cisco Systems in Petaluma, California. While at Cisco, Mr. Morch
was a team leader for a research and development project pertaining to
voice-over and optical networking. The day before his final date
of employment at Cisco. Mr. Morch is alleged to have burned onto compact
discs ("CDs") numerous proprietary documents, including but not limited
to Cisco project ideas, general descriptions, requirements, specifications,
limitations of design, and procedures to overcome the design difficulties
for a voice-over and optical networking software product. Shortly
after, Mr. Morch started working at Calix Networks, a potential competitor
The maximum statutory penalty for each count in violation of Title 18,
United States Code, Section 1832 is 10 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000
plus restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would
be dictated by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account
a number of factors, and would be imposed in the discretion of the Court.
An criminal complaint simply contains allegations against an individual
and, as with all defendants, Mr. Morch must be presumed innocent unless
and until convicted.
Mr. Morch made his initial appearance in federal court in San Francisco
before United States Magistrate Judge Elizabeth LaPorte today. The
defendant's next scheduled appearance is this afternoon at 2:00 pm for
further detention hearing before Judge LaPorte.
The prosecution is the result of an investigation by special agents
of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Joseph E. Sullivan
and Jonathan Howden, from the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property
Unit of the United States Attorney's Office, are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys
who are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release and key court documents filed in the case may
also be found on the U.S. Attorney's Office's website at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/can/.
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney's Office should be directed to spokesperson
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Jacobs at (415)436-7181.
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