HTC‘s legal battle continues as one of its former top executives has formally been indicted in Taiwan. Thomas Chien, former Vice President and lead designer, is believed to have disclosed company secrets to his future business partners and have amassed a fortune through fraud.
Last September, the Taipei District Court ordered the arrest of several of HTC’s high-ranking officials on suspicions of embezzlement and selling of commercial secrets. Among those included in the arrest were research director Wu Chien-hung, senior engineer Huang Hung-yi, and senior manager Huang Kuo-ching, with the latter two earlier released on bail. While others have admitted their involvement, Thomas Chien continued to deny it.
Chien is believed to have shown some of HTC’s upcoming designs, possibly for HTC Sense 6, to some people who were supposed to be Chien’s future business partners for a new company that will be developing smartphones in direct competition with HTC. This was believed to have taken place in June in Beijing. It remains unknown whether these individuals had any ties to the Chinese government.
The former HTC officials are also accused of fraud. They have allegedly filed false expense claims and rebates from a supplier, allowing them to almost get away with around $112 million. A fourth of the amount was confiscated from Chien, while another fourth was found in his car later.