Ex-Apple Employee Receives 4-Month Prison Term for Trade Secret Theft

ex apple employee receives 4 month prison term for trade secret theft

 

The California district court has reached a verdict in Xiaolang Zhang‘s case, the former Apple employee who’s facing 4 months in prison, along with 3 years of supervised release. Additionally, he has been ordered to pay $146,984 (about PHP8.2 million) in damages.

READ: Federal Prosecutors Say Ex-Apple Employee Admitted to $17 Million Fraud

To rewind a bit, Zhang, a former Apple engineer, admitted guilt in stealing trade secrets related to Project Titan. The FBI initially accused him of this in 2018. Zhang took a parental leave from Apple, during which he went to China. Instead of returning after his leave ended, he decided not to go back to Apple.

Making a move to China, Zhang joined XMotors, a startup working on autonomous vehicle technology. Apple became suspicious due to his evasive behavior during his departure, leading to an investigation by the company’s New Product Security Team. They looked into his network activity and Apple devices, which were handed over when he left.

While Zhang initially entered a not guilty plea in 2018, he later reversed his stance and admitted guilt in August 2022. Now, the time has come for him to begin serving his sentence.

How do you think companies can better safeguard their sensitive information?