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A former Intel employee is awaiting sentencing after he admitted to stealing confidential documents from the company, court officials said.

Biswamohan Pani pleaded guilty to five counts relating to the illegal download of confidential documents from Intel’s servers, according to a plea agreement entered last week between Pani and Carmen M. Ortiz, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

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Pani, an employee of Intel’s Massachusetts Microprocessor Development Center, working on the design of Itanium processors, resigned from Intel on May 29, 2008, and took leave from Intel up to June 11, purportedly to use accrued vacation time, officials said.

Pani however joined Intel’s rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) June 2, while still on Intel’s payroll, and continuing to have access to Intel’s servers. He returned to Intel on June 11 for an exit interview on his last day at Intel, according the 2008 indictment.

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From June 8 through June 11, Pani downloaded 13 “top secret” Intel design documents from the company’s servers in California, according to the indictment. He copied them from his Intel-issued laptop to an external drive to have access to the documents after he returned the laptop to Intel. He tried to access the servers again around June 13 after he found he could not access the documents offline because he had not completed the procedure required for viewing the encrypted documents offline.

AMD neither requested the information Pani downloaded, nor knew Pani took or would take the information, according to the indictment. Pani downloaded the documents to further his career at AMD or someplace else when the opportunity arose, officials said.

In the filing before the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts last week, Ortiz recommended a sentence of six years to the court, instead of the maximum of 20 years on each count, because among other things the government has no evidence Pani used, sold, transferred, or offered the proprietary information, or any direct evidence of specifically how he intended to use the information.

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