Feeds

Former HTC staffers charged with fraud, leaking company secrets

Five fingered in Sense-stealing scheme

Boost IT visibility and business value

Five former HTC employees, including one former executive, have been charged in a Taiwanese court with leaking corporate secrets, accepting illegal kickbacks, and falsifying expenses.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Thomas Chien, formerly VP of product design at HTC, has been charged with leaking details of a future smartphone interface design, believed to be version 6.0 of the company's Sense software for Android.

In addition, prosecutors allege that Chien and his collaborators profited to the tune of 33.6 million New Taiwanese dollars ($1.12m) by accepting kickbacks from suppliers and charging fake expenses back to HTC.

Chien was arrested in August along with two others, but the latest reports say a total of five ex-HTC employees have been charged, as well as three employees of HTC suppliers who participated in the scheme. The suppliers were not named.

Each charge of leaking secrets and betrayal of trust could carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, prosecutors say.

The incident comes at a delicate moment for HTC. The Taiwanese firm's smartphone sales are slumping and a steady parade of its top execs sought greener pastures throughout 2013. It has also suffered damaging defeats in patent lawsuits brought by Nokia in both the US and the UK.

In October, HTC CEO Peter Chou said that he would unload some of his duties to subordinates so that he could concentrate more on producing innovative products.

For the time being, however, much depends on the upcoming launch of the successor to HTC's flagship Android smartphone, the HTC One. That device, dubbed the HTC One Two for want of an official moniker, is expected to launch sometime in the first quarter of 2014, and HTC badly needs it to be a success.

HTC declined to comment on the charges filed against Chien and his cohorts, offering only a repeat of the same statement it gave earlier this year, to the effect that it does not condone any violation of its policies. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.