Software Executive Admits to Conspiring to Misappropriate Chief Competitor's Trade Secrets (September 29, 2005)
DOJ Seal
September 29, 2005
U.S. Department of Justice
Northern District of California

United States Attorney's Office
11th Floor, Federal Building
450 Golden Gate Avenue, Box 36055
San Francisco, California 94102
Contact: Luke Macaulay
Media Office: (415) 436-6757
Main Office: (415) 436-7200

Software Executive Admits to Conspiring to Misappropriate Chief Competitor’s Trade Secrets

Second Guilty Plea in Case Involving Trade Secret Theft by Corporate Executives of Business Engine Software Corporation (BES)

SAN FRANCISCO — The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California announced that William F. McMenamin, 51, of Austin, Texas, pleaded guilty late yesterday to conspiracy to misappropriate trade secrets and interstate transportation of stolen property.

In pleading guilty, Mr. McKimmey admitted to the following in a written plea agreement and orally in court:

From October 2001 to July 2002, Mr. McMenamin, was the Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales for Business Engine Software Corporation (BES), a private company that manufactured enterprise application software products and services. It had offices in San Francisco, Virginia Beach, New York, Chicago, and overseas. One of BES’s chief competitors was Niku Corporation (Niku), a publicly-traded company that had twenty offices in the United States and overseas including its headquarters in Redwood City, California. (Niku was acquired by Computer Associates International, Inc. earlier this year.)

Mr. McMenamin admitted that he conspired with other executives from BES, including former Chief Technology Officer Robert McKimmey, to illegally access Niku's computer network and applications repeatedly over a 10-month period; to misappropriate and copy Niku’s trade secrets; and to transmit Niku’s trade secrets to other BES officers and employees to enable BES to maintain a competitive advantage over its direct competitor, Niku. Mr. McKimmey previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges on July 28, 2004.

The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1832 is 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the Court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553. United States District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton scheduled a status hearing regarding sentencing on November 30, 2005, at 2:30 p.m.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by agents of the FBI's computer intrusion squad, which was overseen by the U.S. Attorney's Office's Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) Unit. Christopher P. Sonderby, Chief of the CHIP Unit, is the Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case

A copy of this press release and related court filings may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at

Further procedural and docket information along with electronic court filings for criminal cases filed since February 2005 are available at (click on the link for “to retrieve documents from the court.”)

Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at

All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to AUSA Christopher P. Sonderby at (408) 535-5037 or, or Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or