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AMX Exec Charged With Hacking Sapphire's Emails

3/31/2008 05:02:00 PM Eastern

Paramus, N.J. — An executive with AMX has been arrested for unlawful access of Sapphire Marketing’s computer system.

According to the Bergen County, N.J., prosecutor’s office AMX VP David Goldenberg has been charged with third-degree unlawful access of a computer system/network, second-degree unlawful access of computer data/theft and third-degree conducting an illegal wiretap.

The prosecutor’s office said Goldenberg’s arrest follows an investigation by the Bergen County prosecutor’s office’s computer crimes unit, which alleges that the AMX executive had stolen thousands of proprietary and confidential emails through repeated, unauthorized access into Sapphire’s secure email server.

The prosecutor’s press release regarding the case stated the arrest stemmed from an investigation by the Paramus police based on a complaint by Sapphire Marketing, who reported that they were being suspiciously and consistently underbid for AMX contracts.

Based on anomalies that the complainant noticed within their computer network and more specifically their email system, they suspected that the company’s email system had been compromised and that email was being intercepted.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the investigation revealed that Goldenberg allegedly engineered the passwords protecting several of the complainant’s email accounts. For a period of time, Goldenberg was intercepting and reading emails that related to potential contracts. Goldenberg then established a free email account that he had control over, and created an automatic forward of the victim’s email so that they would be sent to him directly. This allowed Goldenberg advanced knowledge of Sapphire’s customers and bid prices, thus further affording him an opportunity to underbid Sapphire.

Sapphire said in the prosecutor’s press release that it estimates the loss in revenue from Goldenberg’s actions to exceed $1 million.

In a prepared statement, Rashid M. Skaf, president/CEO of AMX, said, “We are surprised and stunned by this news. It is the clear and unambiguous policy of AMX that every employee act with the highest moral and ethical standards, and to obey the law in all respects. We have always stressed fair and honest competition, and in no way do we condone any unethical or unlawful behavior.”

Skaf said Goldenberg “has been placed on on a leave of absence, effective immediately, while this matter is investigated. Alan Stoddard will be acting in his role until further notice.”

Sapphire Marketing is a manufacturers’ representative in the Northeast, most notably representing Crestron Electronics of Rockleigh, N.J., according to the rep firm. AMX, based in Richardson, Tex., sells A/V controllers and systems for home, corporate and business applications.

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