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Grand Jury Charges Ben Lomond Engineer With Stealing Trade Secrets

SAN JOSE (CBS SF/BCN) -- An indictment unsealed Wednesday revealed that a federal grand jury in San Jose charged a former Broadcom engineer with stealing trade secrets.

Peter Kisang Kim, of Ben Lomond, pleaded not guilty in a federal courtroom in San Jose, according to an announcement from the office of Acting United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair.

Kim was a principal design engineer at Broadcom and had been employed by the San Jose-based company for more than twenty years.

The Nov. 4 indictment alleges that the 50-year-old Kim stole Broadcom trade secrets associated with its family of chips often used in high-volume data centers. Prosecutors say Kim stole the information in the days before his July 17, 2020, departure from Broadcom.

Ten days after his last day at the company, according to the indictment, Kim began working at the director level for Company-1, a China-based startup company focused on chip design and the market for networking chips.

The indictment alleges that Kim received a laptop for his work at Company-1 and, during the nine months following his departure from Broadcom and the start of his work at Company-1, that Kim possessed and repeatedly used Broadcom trade secrets on the newly-issued laptop and on other electronic devices.

These trade secrets were associated with test plans, design verification environment files, and design specifications for the Broadcom family of chips.

The indictment charges Kim with 18 counts of trade secret theft. For each count, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

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