Feeds

Former HTC staffers charged with fraud, leaking company secrets

Five fingered in Sense-stealing scheme

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.