HTC's Design Team Arrested for Fraud, Stealing Trade Secrets

Discussion in 'HTC Tablets' started by edap, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. edap

    edap Senior Member

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    More internal drama at HTC continues as a handful of HTC’s employees were arrested earlier today on charges of fraudulent expenses and stealing trade secrets. The most notable names among those arrested are Thomas Chien (Vice President of Product Design, Wu Chien Hung Director of R&D and senior design team manager Justin Huang (responsible for the design of the HTC One).
    The arrests were made following a personal complain by HTC’s chairwoman Cher Wang. Those arrested had recently resigned from HTC after claiming their mid-year bonuses this week. The group of designers was in the process of setting up their own mobile design firm under the name “Xiaoyu” in mainland China. The complaint alleges the three men listed above contracted an external design firm to bill HTC for US$334,000 worth of commission fees for the design of the HTC One even though the phone was designed in-house. The money was collected between May and June of this year and split between the three. Thomas Chien is also accused of downloading files for HTC’s upcoming Sense 6 UI and distributing them via e-mail to external contacts.
     
  2. edap

    edap Senior Member

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    Since my last post, new details have come to light implicating China’s Chengdu city government as part of a larger conspiracy. According to Reuters, prosecutors in the case have revealed that the Chengdu city government approached the three ex-members of HTC’s design team and promised to help with set-up, operation and marketing costs of a mobile design company in Chengdu as long as they were able to extract company secrets and cash before leaving HTC.
    While HTC claims that Thomas Chien accessed and emailed details of the company’s Sense 6 software to external sources, prosecutors do not know if the files were sent to anyone from the Chengdu city government.
    When the story originally broke, the three suspects were accused of fraudulently billing HTC for $334,000 through an external design firm for work on the HTC One. That number has now doubled to $668,300. Court documents from the first hearing show that most of the money has been recuperated, with $262,100 in cash taken from Thomas Chien’s Audi which was still parked at HTC headquarters.
    With prosecutors implicating the Chengdu city government in this case, we’re sure there will be a lot more dirt to dig up on this case.
     

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