Former HP Exec Admits Stealing IBM Documents

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Atul Malhotra faces 10 years in jail after giving his HP bosses confidential IBM documents detailing internal printing and imaging pricing.

Former Hewlett Packard vice president of imaging and printing services Atul Malhotra is facing 10 years in prison after pleading guilty Friday to stealing trade secrets from IBM, according to federal prosecutors.

According to court records, Malhoutra, 42, worked at IBM from 1997 to 2006. In March of 2006, while serving as director of sales and business development in output management services for IBM Global Services, he requested a copy of IGS’ CC Calibration Metrics, a series of confidential documents that included products costs, materials and other competitive information. Court records indicate Malhoutra was warned not to share the documents, all of which were marked "confidential," because of their sensitive nature.

Two months after receiving the documents, however, Malhotra left IBM for HP, where, according to his plea agreement, he shared the confidential documents with his new bosses.  Malhotra sent two e-mails to HP senior vice presidents with the subject, "For Your Eyes Only," and attached the CC Calibration Metrics. In the e-mails message, Malhotra said the information would help specific HP sales teams better understand their IBM’s goals and help them when pricing competitive deals.

HP fired Malhotra when an internal investigation revealed the transgression, court records show. Both HP and IBM cooperated with federal investigators.

Sentencing is set for Oct. 29. Malhotra faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and three years probation.


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