2012 is proving to be annus horribilis for some Indians as they will soon be guests of the American prison system.
First, it was Kharak Singh, who admitted to unlawful sexual contact and unlawful imprisonment, in a case that rocked Delaware. Singh got a one-year prison term.
Then, the New Jersey peeping tom Dharun Ravi was held guilty in the Tyler Clementi case. Ravi will likely serve several years in prison unless he succeeds in his appeal.
Last week, it was the turn of Queens (NYC) native Patrick Nayyar, who was found guilty for conspiracy and attempting to provide material support to terrorist outfit Hizballah. Nayyar faces a maximum sentence of 75 years in prison. He will be sentenced on September 25, 2012.
Biswamohan Pani-Intel Case
In the latest high profile case involving an Indian, design engineer Biswamohan Pani plead guilty today to five counts of wire fraud in the Intel trademark theft case. Pani too will serve several years in prison when he is sentenced later this year.
Pani, who worked at Intel’s Massachusetts Microprocessor Development Center in Hudson from May 2003-May 2008, was indicted in November 2008 for illegally downloading confidential proprietary information soon after he started working for rival AMD.
FBI agents told the court AMD was unaware of Pani’s actions.
Intel valued the value of the confidential proprietary information at a billion dollars (source: Biswamohan Pani Indictment, November 5, 2008 and July 22, 2009, p.5).
Pani initially claimed he was innocent but plead guilty Friday to the wire fraud charges stated in the indictment.
Pani’s sentencing is scheduled for August 8, 2012.
He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years on each of the five counts plus financial penalties.
However, the U.S. Attorney in the case is recommending a prison term of six years for Pani. But the recommendation is not binding on the judge who may award Pani a longer prison term.
Pani, an IIT Bombay alumnus, worked at DEC/Compaq/HP and joined Intel when it acquired Compaq’s Hudson, Massachusetts facility in May 2003.