Feeds

Former HTC staffers charged with fraud, leaking company secrets

Five fingered in Sense-stealing scheme

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.