One of the most intriguing aspects of the case is that Pani was able to remain an Intel employee—with access to sensitive company data—for days after beginning a job at rival Advanced Micro Devices.
According to court filings, Pani set June 11, 2008, to be his last day at Intel, but said he would be out of the office until that time, making use of accrued vacation time.
In fact, Pani began working at AMD on June 2. Yet by also remaining on Intel's payroll, he maintained access to Intel's computer network.
Using his Intel-issued laptop, Pani remotely downloaded 13 documents designated as 'top secret', prosecutors allege. These "included mission-critical documents describing in detail the processes Intel uses for designing its newest generation of microprocessors," the indictment states.
R Bradford Bailey, Pani's lawyer, says his client will plead not guilty. Pani "continues to maintain his innocence and is planning a vigorous defense," Bailey says.
According to a statement filed in the case by Timothy W Russell, an agent for the FBI, Pani told investigators in July that he had acquired the information to help his wife, who was also an Intel employee.
The indictment states that AMD did not ask Pani to take the information or know that he had taken it.
Pani, who is 33 and lives in Worcester, Mass, is no longer employed at AMD.
In a statement, AMD notes that it 'has cooperated fully with the FBI investigation'.
Image: An Intel staff displays a strip of a hybrid silicon laser chip at the company headquarters in Santa Clara, California. | Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Also read: Can Pandit save Citibank from doom?
|Live updates on money.rediff.com