Theft of Intellectual Property Investigation – Hungary
Assisted a global manufacturer in connection with an investigation of suspected intellectual property theft of proprietary manufacturing technology and inventory. The investigation included background investigations of former employees, legal entities identifiable with these employees, examination of outbound telephone calls from the plant to these employees which showed ongoing interaction between current and former employees. The investigation also involved use of the undercover technique to engage directly with individuals suspected of offering the client’s reverse engineered machinery for sale. The investigation revealed that numerous former employees who possessed the requisite engineering expertise used the company’s designs to create manufacturing machinery and offer it for sale at well below its market value. The investigation also revealed that finished product and raw materials were being systematically stolen by insiders who then provided the stolen goods to a network of former employees who transported them to neighboring Ukraine for sale in the black market. The results of the investigation enabled the company to identify employees who were involved in the IP and property thefts and take action to shut down the theft ring and strengthen their controls.