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Former Samsung exec allegedly stole blueprints to build a factory a mile away

The stolen information is said to be worth $233 million.

Published onJune 12, 2023

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Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • An unnamed former Samsung executive has been arrested.
  • It’s alleged that the ex-executive stole blueprints, poached employees, and had plans to build a rival chip factory.
  • The stolen corporate secrets are estimated to be worth $233 million.

Samsung has had its hands full with guarding company secrets as of late. Earlier this year, it was discovered that employees were giving away source code information to ChatGPT. Now the corporation is dealing with a new problem that involves semiconductor blueprints and a former executive.

An unnamed former Samsung executive was arrested last month and charged with stealing trade secrets, according to Gizmodo. Those secrets are said to be “basic engineering data” and clean room designs from August 2018 to 2019. The secrets the defendant stole are estimated to be worth $233 million. The unidentified 65-year-old was reportedly planning to use the information to build his own rival semiconductor factory in Xian, China.

The former executive reportedly worked at Samsung for 18 years. He also worked for a decade at another South Korean chip plant (SK Hynix). According to prosecutors, he is accused of poaching over 200 employees from these companies during this time. He also reportedly instructed his employees to obtain and use Samsung’s semiconductor design data and other trade secrets, according to Yonhap New Agency

The plan ultimately failed after a Taiwanese company broke its promise to invest $8 trillion into the project. If the defendant had succeeded, that factory would have been built only a mile away from Samsung’s own factory in Xian.

But it looks like the former executive isn’t the only one in trouble. There are six others, including a contractor and five employees, who have also received charges related to the former executive’s plan.

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