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Former Bristol-Myers Squibb Employee Pleads Guilty to Theft of Trade Secrets

A former technical operations associate in Bristol-Myers Squibb's management training program entered a guilty plea last week to a one-count information charging him with theft of trade secrets from the company, according to an announcement today from U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York Richard S. Hartunian.

Theft of Trade Secrets

Shalin Jhaveri, 30, stole trade secrets from Bristol-Myers Squibb and devised a plan to convert them to his own use. At the time of his arrest, Jhaveri was meeting in a Syracuse, New York hotel room with an individual he believed was an investor willing to finance a business venture Jhaveri planned to start in his native India.

According to a recent report, theft of information or assets was reported by 27.3% of companies over the past 12 months, up from 18% in 2009. In contrast, reported incidences of theft of physical assets or stock declined slightly from 28% in 2009 to 27.2% in 2010.

During his employment, Jhaveri Jhaveri, who holds a Ph.D., transferred Bristol-Myers trade secrets to the investor, an individual he knew was not employed by or associated with Bristol-Myers in any capacity. Jhaveri was employed by Bristol-Myers at the time of his arrest.

As part of his plea, Jhaveri admitted the following:

 While employed by Bristol-Myers in its management training program at its Syracuse facility, he devised a plan to steal trade secrets of Bristol-Myers and convert them to his own use;

• He did steal trade secrets from Bristol-Myers, and in doing so used methods to disguise his actions and evade detection by the company;

 He communicated, using a specially created e-mail account and password he set up expressly for that purpose, with an individual he knew was not employed by or affiliated with Bristol-Myers, who he believed to be an investor willing to finance a business venture Jhaveri planned to start in his native India; Jhaveri discussed with and transferred to that individual trade secrets he had stolen from Bristol-Myers;

 When asked by this investor whether the information he had taken from Bristol-Myers was everything he needed, responded that it was.

Jhaveri also consented to the entry of an order of removal/deportation from the United States by an immigration judge, to take place upon completion of any jail term imposed, and to not seek relief or take an appeal from such order. Jhaveri acknowledged that such an immigration order, upon execution, will render the defendant inadmissable to the United States.

Jhaveri faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, up to three years of supervised release and deportation.

Corporate information is increasingly under threat and incidents such as this clearly show the need for improved separation and isolation of information.

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.