Busted ex-Microsoft worker pleads guilty to trade secret theft, faces up to ten years

Last month word surfaced that a former Microsoft employee had been arrested for allegedly stealing trade secrets from Microsoft and leaking them to an unnamed French blogger. That blogger had a reputation for posting screen shots of unreleased Microsoft software. To catch the internal leak, Microsoft accessed the bloggers Hotmail account.

That fact incised many privacy advocates and led Microsoft to promise that it would seek outside counsel before accessing a user's Hotmail account in the future. After accessing the Hotmail account of the Blogger, Microsoft identified the leak as Alex Kibkalo and had the man arrested.

Reports indicate that Kibkalo has now pled guilty to stealing trade secrets from Microsoft and faces up to ten years in provision for doing so. However, it appears that the legal filing in the case is looking for a much shorter sentence than a decade. The recommendation for Kibkalo is to spend three months in prison.

He will also pay $22,500 in restitution to Microsoft. A larger fine of $250,000 is possible along with three years of supervised release and up to five years probation. Sentencing in the case is set for July 1. Odds are that after being convicted of stealing trade secrets, the man will find it difficult to find employment in the tech industry.