By Stephen Schenck | December 27, 2013 10:50 AM
It’s no surprise to learn that a smartphone company doesn’t particularly like to see its employees leaking information on unreleased products, but rarely do we talk about any of these insiders leaking info with the express intent of profiting from it. In Taiwan, however, that’s very much the saga that’s playing out, as the case against ex-VP of design Thomas Chien proceeds.
This all started a few months back, when Chien and a couple other HTC designers were arrested on charges of stealing trade secrets. The investigation has since claimed that Chien and his conspirators were planning to leave HTC and start their own design firm, and had been showing-off internal projects – supposedly resources from the upcoming Sense 6.0 – as a way to demonstrate their creative portfolio to investors.
That might put Chien in enough hot water on its own, but he and his partners are also accused of embezzling north of one million dollars, by means of phony expense reports and fraudulent supplier invoices.
While the other guys have apparently owned-up to their role in affair, Chien proclaims innocence. Still, it sounds like he’s going to have a tough time defending against these allegations, and the prosecution is very interested in seeing a strict sentence imposed.