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Exec Sentenced For Corporate Espionage

6/29/2009 01:46:40 PM Eastern

Hackensack, N.J. - A former AMXVP was sentenced in state Superior Court here to three years probation and ordered to undergo psychological counseling after pleading guilty to felony wiretapping for intercepting emails between Crestronand Crestron's Paramus, N.J.-based sales rep, Sapphire Marketing.

David A. Goldenberg of Oceanside, N.Y., "infiltrated Sapphire's e-mail accounts," providing him with "advanced knowledge of Sapphire's customers and bid prices, affording him an opportunity to underbid them," Creston said in a prepared statement.

"One of our employees was going to be away and needed to establish an ‘out of office reply' for her email, and that is when she noticed her email was being forwarded to an unfamiliar external address," said Sapphire owner Marla Suttenberg.

In a prepared statement, Crestron and Sapphire contend "the estimated losses for Sapphire and Crestron cannot be quantified as sensitive material has been compromised." In addition, Crestron executive VP Randy Klein said, "The full damage caused by the compromising of this information is immeasurable and has seriously impacted our past, present and future business." An Associated Press report, however, said Sapphire and Crestron estimated their losses at more than $10 million in lost business and the cost of security improvements. AP also said Goldenberg was fined $1,000.

"Mr. Goldenberg is paying the price, but it is hard to believe that his employer and our chief competitor, AMX Corporation, has not benefited from this illegally acquired information," Crestron's Klein also said.

Before he joined AMX, Goldenberg was a customer of both Sapphire and Crestron, Creston said in a prepared statement. Goldenberg sought employment at Crestron in May 2007 but wasn't hired. He was hired by AMX in June 2007 as general manager of AMX's East Coast office and became VP.

In February 2008, Sapphire informed authorities of the intercepts, and Goldenberg was arrested following a six-week investigation by the Paramus police department, the statement continued. He was charged with unlawful access of a computer system/network, unlawful access of computer data and theft of data, and conducting an illegal wiretap. He was released on $50,000 bail.

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