Former Volterra Employee Arrested for Illegal Data Transfer
Volterra Semiconductor Corp. (Fremont, CA), a provider of high-performance analog and mixed-signal power management semiconductors, reported that a former company employee (Shin-Guo Tsai) was arrested by federal agents on February 27, 2005, for allegedly e-mailing proprietary Volterra data sheets to semiconductor company CMSC Inc. (Taiwan) on December 25, 2004.
A criminal complaint filed in the US District Court in the Northern District of California charges Tsai with illegally e-mailing proprietary product specifications and functionality for several of Volterra’s products. Volterra believes Tsai may have also transferred files containing proprietary information to his personal computers.
Although Volterra and federal investigators are in the process of fully determining the extent of Tsai’s action with respect to the company’s proprietary information, based on analysis to date, Volterra does not believe the transfers or alleged data sheet transmissions have materially impaired its intellectual property or otherwise impacted its business or operations.
The FBI arrested Tsai on charges of transporting stolen property abroad, a crime that could bring a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Tsai worked for Volterra from July 2002 until February 15, 2005, when he announced he was returning to Taiwan to marry. Allegedly, Tsai had been in contact with the chairman of CMSC Inc., a start-up company that is involved in the same business as Volterra. Tsai admitted to FBI agents last week that he had sent proprietary information to CMSC.