San Francisco Manager Arrested on Federal Charges of Computer Fraud (18 US Code 1030)

San Francisco Manager Arrested on Federal Charges of Computer Fraud (18 US Code 1030)

Rabin Nabizadeh
January 8, 2014

The manager of a Bay area search firm (name withheld to protect the anonymity of the accused), has been recently convicted of 6 different felony charges for having stolen customer information in order to begin his own firm.

He worked for the firm Korn/Ferry International (in Redwood City) before leaving to pursue his own interests.  It seems that hel had everything he needed in order to start his own business; he had the knowledge, the experience and the capital.  However, there was one thing that he didn’t have, a significant client base.  Instead of reaching out to former clients through some other means, he convinced two of his old co-workers at Korn/Ferry to illegally download client lists, including private customer information and send it to him.

This is a federal offense per the U.S. Government (18 US Code 1030).  Because of this, prosecutors sought a 27-month sentence.  However, he was eventually given a 1-year sentence in federal prison instead. This is a shorter sentence by far than the suggested federal guideline of 15-21 months.  U.S. District Judge Edward Chen was the acting judge for the case and he determined to levy an additional fine of $60,000 against him.  He was convicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) for having violated computer policies.  Interestingly, when he resigned from Korn/Ferry, he signed a non-compete agreement and this weighed heavily in the court’s decision.


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