The Good, the Bad, the Guilty

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2004-12-01 Print this article Print

A gallery of corporate technologists accused of breaking into other companies' systems, in search of trade secrets.

Robert McKimmey
Former chief technology officer, Business Engine Software

McKimmey pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to commit theft and downloading trade secrets from the computer network of software company Niku, one of Business Engine's competitors. McKimmey joined Business Engine in 1999 and was named its chief technology officer after the vendor bought his company, BayPointe Software, which developed project administration, budgeting and planning applications. A sentencing date has not been set.

Mehdi Rowghani
Former president, CEO,
Dallas European Parts Distributors

In January, Rowghani and two others who worked for Dallas European, Kevin Harold Smith and Geoffrey Michael Glaze, were charged in a grand jury indictment with repeatedly intruding into competitor SSF Imported Auto Parts' computer database for commercial advantage and illegally trafficking in computer passwords. Rowghani pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Kevin Harold Smith
Former chief technology officer, Dallas European Parts Distributors

Smith, according to the grand jury indictment, obtained a user name and password to SSF's database, which Glaze is said to have used to access that database without permission. He, along with Rowghani and Glaze, was charged with one count of conspiracy, five counts of computer password trafficking and 10 counts of unauthorized access to a protected computer. He pleaded not guilty.

Geoffrey Michael Glaze
Computer consultant

According to the grand jury indictment, Glaze used the user names and passwords of several SSF customers to gain unauthorized access to SSF's database. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mark Erfurt
Former network manager and information-technology director, Manufacturers Electronic Sales Corp.

Erfurt pleaded guilty in August to using his administrative access rights to break into the computer system from his employer, Centaur, in January 2003. Erfurt worked a second job at MESC, an outside sales company for the makers of sophisticated high-tech parts, and the incident happened eight months after he stopped working for MESC. Erfurt downloaded MESC's customer database, read the president's e-mail, and deleted customer records and other data. Erfurt is free on his own recognizance. He still works at Centaur. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 24, 2005.

Brent Alan Woodard
Former information-technology director, Lightwave Microsystems

Woodard was indicted in May 2003 on charges of taking databases containing instructions, process control methods and other competitive data, all stored on backup tapes, and trying to sell it to JDS Uniphase, a competitor in the network equipment market. He pleaded not guilty.

Richard Day
Chief architect and co-founder, Speedera

Speedera, which provides application hosting and content delivery services, was sued by competitor Akamai Technologies in June 2002, claiming that Day broke into a database operated by Keynote Systems, a Web site performance-testing service, to download performance data about Akamai. Speedera denies taking any actions that were improper. At press time, a trial was scheduled for February.

Raymond Blum
Former chief technology officer, AskIt Systems

Blum was arrested in May 2002, about three months after he left AskIt, on charges of sending threatening e-greeting cards to the company's CEO and president, redirecting customers to a pornographic telephone service, flooding AskIt's network with traffic, and other network intrusions. Blum, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office, was allegedly in a dispute with AskIt, a provider of online customer service and support, about the severance terms of his employment contract. Blum pleaded guilty in February 2003 to transmission of threats in interstate commerce.


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