R.I. exec guilty of sabotage
01:00 AM EDT on Thursday, August 2, 2007
By Bob Van VorisBloomberg News
An executive of Cranston-based chemical company Technic Inc. pleaded guilty yesterday to sabotaging a test of a formula developed by competitor Rohm & Haas Co. for electroplating Intel Corp. microchips.
Robert Schetty III, vice president in charge of developing and marketing electroplating products for Technic, pleaded guilty in federal court in Central Islip, N.Y., to destroying a Rohm & Haas solution called ST380 that was being tested for Intel.
“This is a very, very stupid caper in his life and he’s doing his best to put it behind him,” Ron Russo, Schetty’s lawyer, said in an interview.
Schetty faces as much as 10 years in prison, three years probation and a $250,000 fine, prosecutors said. He agreed to pay $15,536 restitution to Rohm & Haas.
Schetty worked in Plainview, N.Y., for the Advanced Technology Division of closely held Technic, prosecutors said in a court document filed under seal July 17 and released yesterday. He schemed to ruin the tests because he feared Rohm & Haas would take Technic’s Intel account, according to the documents.
Bob Sheeran, a Technic spokesman, didn’t return a call seeking comment.
Electroplating is an industrial process that uses an electrical current to coat microchips with a thin layer of metal.
From 2002 to 2005, Technic sold a lead-free electroplating solution to Amkor Technology Inc., an Intel subcontractor, prosecutors said. About 2004, Philadelphia-based Rohm & Haas, a special-materials maker and the world’s biggest producer of acrylic-paint ingredients, developed ST380, a lead-free electroplating solution the company claimed was superior to Technic’s product, prosecutors said.
In September 2004, Schetty learned that Amkor would be testing the Rohm & Haas product at Amkor’s plant in the Philippines, prosecutors said. Schetty, along with unnamed Technic and Amkor employees in that country, sabotaged the test by secretly adding hydrogen peroxide and another chemical to the ST380 that was being tested, prosecutors said.
Amkor chief financial officer Ken Joyce declined to comment on the case.
Schetty and the unnamed Technic employee, called “Jane Doe” in the criminal-charging document, exchanged e-mails to coordinate the scheme, prosecutors said.
“Thank you, you are doing exactly as a good salesperson should do to save this account,” prosecutors claim Schetty told Jane Doe in a Sept. 17, 2004, e-mail. “We have no choice but to make sure the ST380 evaluation fails.”