Ex-Intel worker pleads guilty to stealing designs

BOSTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors say an employee pleaded guilty to secretly downloading computer chip manufacturing and design documents from Intel Corp. while looking for a job elsewhere.

Thirty-six-year-old Biswamohan Pani pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Boston to five counts of wire fraud. He faces up to 20 years in prison and other penalties at sentencing.

Prosecutors say Pani downloaded numerous secret documents detailing Intel's manufacturing and design of computer chips in May 2008, shortly after he announced that he was leaving his job in Hudson, Mass.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel valued those documents at between $200 million and $400 million. The company detected and reported the theft. FBI agents recovered the documents.

Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. hired Pani and cooperated with investigators. There's no evidence the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company knew the documents existed.

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