The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California announced that Trieu Lam, 44, of San Jose, California, was arraigned today on an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to possess stolen trade secrets, and two counts of theft of trade secrets.
Thanh Tran, a/k/a David Tran, 45, of Milpitas, California, was charged in the same indictment with one count of conspiracy to possess stolen trade secrets. He was also arraigned today.
According to the indictment, Mr. Lam was an employee at C&D Semiconductor Services Inc. (C&D) located in Milpitas, California, before starting his own company, More Technology Services Inc. (MTS) in San Jose. Mr. Lam and others allegedly used trade secrets stolen from C&D to produce and sell re-engineered and refurbished semiconductor equipment, called track systems, that apply photo-sensitive film to silicon wafers. Mr. Lam also allegedly recruited C&D employees, including Mr. Tran, to remove documentation and tooling from C&D, including drawings, assembly schematics, and similar equipment. Mr. Lam and MTS used these trade secrets to solicit business from C&D customers. The value of the trade secrets involved, as determined by the cost of their production, was alleged to be approximately $1.19M.
Mr. Lam was released pending the posting of a $200,000 secured bond, and Mr. Tran was released upon his own recognizance. Both defendants will next appear before U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel on November 16, 2004, at 9:00 a.m. FBI agents executed a search warrant at MTS in San Jose, California on November 6, 2002.
C&D Semiconductor Services Inc. cooperated fully with the authorities in the investigation.
The maximum statutory penalty for each count of conspiracy to possess stolen trade secrets, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1832, and theft of trade secrets in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1832(a)(2)&(a)(3) is 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be dictated by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, and would be imposed in the discretion of the Court. An indictment simply contains allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Mr. Lam and Mr. Tran must be presumed innocent unless and until convicted.
The prosecution is the result of a investigation by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Matt Parrella, Chief of the San Jose Branch of the U.S. Attorney's Office, is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case, with the assistance of Legal Assistant Brenda Hodgen.
A copy of this press release and related court filings may be found on the U.S. Attorney's Office's website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can. Related court documents and information may be found on the District Court website at www.cand.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov/.
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney's Office should be directed to Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at Luke.Macaulay3@usdoj.gov.