A former yacht company employee is accused of "industrial espionage" for stealing business records, authorities said.
Cameron O’Connell, 27, of Prince Street in Bordentown City was charged with stealing proprietary intellectual property, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and New Jersey State Police Commander Patrick J. Callahan said.
O'Connell's former employer is Viking Yacht Company, a luxury boat manufacturer in Bass River Township, they said.
He was charged with computer crime and two counts of unlawful possession of a weapon, they said.
The weapons charges are unrelated to the computer crime, and were filed after two handguns were found during the execution of a search warrant by New Jersey State Police on Sept. 22 at O’Connell’s residence, according to Coffina.
O’Connell, who was taken into custody at that time, was released following an initial appearance in Superior Court in Mount Holly, Coffina said.
“Industrial espionage is a very serious crime; the theft of trade secrets and other proprietary information can be devastating to a company,” Coffina said. “We are committed to protecting Burlington County businesses from the stealing of their property, whether at the sales counter or in the design room.”
The investigation began earlier this month after representatives from Viking Yacht Co. contacted state troopers to say their internal information network had been compromised.
The company determined that proprietary intellectual property had been downloaded onto a USB device via the defendant’s desktop computer after his login information had been utilized to gain access, the prosecutor said.
"This type of theft comes with real-life consequences, which can cost companies millions and lead to job loss,” Colonel Callahan said. “We will continue to vigorously investigate and pursue those who seek to harm New Jersey businesses and ensure that anyone who attempts to profit from the theft of protected and proprietary information is held accountable.”
O’Connell, who is no longer with the company, will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Remy. The investigation was conducted by detectives from the State Police’s Tuckerton Station.
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