Cyber Fraud and Theft of Trade SecretsIndustrial espionage in the modern age is nearly all electronic, and a myriad of statutes—both federal and state—are used to prosecute. Computer crime can run the gamut from unauthorized access to malicious hacking to electronic eavesdropping to obstructive deletion of data. The alleged theft of trade secrets is subject to a patchwork of state and federal statutes, most of which require prosecutors to establish that the allegedly purloined data or process is indeed unique and has been kept from the public domain. These and other legal requirements often provide fruitful grounds for derailing criminal charges.
Companies caught in the crosshairs of a computer crime investigation frequently face parallel civil proceedings by plaintiffs determined to hedge their bets by pushing federal or state investigative authorities to prosecute. Target companies must quickly commence a privileged internal investigation to preserve evidence and identify witnesses and likely individual targets. A proactive investigation—using skilled forensic computer investigators—can effectively defend most of these cases, particularly where evidence can be developed to attack the commerical motives of the plaintiff company.
We bring top-notch expertise and sophistication to the investigation of cyber crimes, cases that can confuse even the most knowledgeable prosecutor or government agent. We employ experts who are unparalleled in their ability to deconstruct an electronic trail and determine the true cause—and perpetrator—of an electronic breach or an intricate scheme to steal data and proprietary information. Often a company’s first notice of an ongoing investigation is the execution of a search warrant or service of a grand jury subpoena. Experienced white collar criminal counsel can intervene to mitigate the intrusion into the company’s operations, guide management through the legal minefield, and protect the company’s own proprietary information. Some three decades ago we participated in securing the very first protective order in a Texas state court to protect a target company’s electronic data from disclosure to a competing company which had convinced the state to execute a search warrant. Early and aggressive measures are very effective in forestalling the filing of formal charges and maintaining the viability of the company’s continued operations.