David Nosal, an executive recruiter based in San Francisco, was convicted of all charges in a six-count Indictment by a federal jury today, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
The jury found that Nosal had conspired to gain unauthorized access to the computer system of his former employer, the executive search firm Korn/Ferry International, and to illegally obtain trade secrets belonging to Korn/Ferry. The jury also found Nosal guilty of three substantive computer intrusions in April and July 2005, and two substantive trade secret offenses that occurred in April 2005. The guilty verdict followed a two-week jury trial before U.S. District Court Judge Edward M. Chen.
Evidence at trial showed that Nosal, 55, of Danville, entered into an agreement with other Korn/Ferry employees in 2004 to take confidential and proprietary materials from Korn/Ferry’s computer system to be used in a new business that Nosal intended to establish with those individuals after he left Korn/Ferry’s employment in late 2004. The evidence showed that two of those employees downloaded large numbers of “source lists” (essentially, targeted lists of candidates developed by Korn/Ferry for the purpose of filling particular positions at particular client-companies) prior to their own departures from Korn/Ferry. Thereafter, those two employees used the Korn/Ferry log-in credentials of another conspirator who was still employed at Korn/Ferry to download additional source lists and other information from Korn/Ferry’s computer system in April and July 2005 for use in Nosal’s new business.
The trial in this case occurred after remand from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which had affirmed then-District Court Judge Marilyn H. Patel’s pre-trial dismissal of several computer intrusion counts.
Nosal was initially indicted by a federal grand jury on April 10, 2008. The government obtained superseding indictments on June 26,
2008 and February 28, 2013. In the most recent superseding indictment, Nosal was charged with one count of conspiracy, three counts of unauthorized access to a computer used in interstate or foreign commerce or communication, one count of unauthorized downloading and copying of trade secrets, and one count of unauthorized receipt and possession of stolen trade secrets. Nosal was found guilty on all six counts of this indictment.
The sentencing of Nosal is scheduled for September 4, 2013 before Judge Edward M. Chen in San Francisco.
SOURCE: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California