March 28, 2008
Before I even get started I want to of course remind everyone (Just as Gary Kayye did with his rAVe HomeAV Breaking News alert) that the accused are of course innocent until proven guilty. I’ve taken particular care not to let my dealings with two of the three companies named in this story, color my take on what I’m about to describe.
In an apparent case of corporate espionage David Goldenberg, the vice president of AMX Systems has been arrested and charged with “Unlawful Access of a Computer System/Network-3rd Degree, Unlawful Access of Computer Data/Theft of Data-2nd Degree, and Conducting an Illegal Wiretap-3rd Degree” by the Bergen county NJ prosecutor’s office. It’s alleged Goldenberg obtained access to the email server of a manufacturers’ representative (Sapphire Marketing) who has several high-profile A/V clients including, get this… AMX’s biggest competitor, Crestron.
Sapphire alerted the local authorizes after being “suspiciously and consistently underbid for contracts by a competitor for whom David Goldenberg works.” I really can’t begin to describe how much this hits home, as someone who has lost these type of bids to competitors (completely unrelated circumstances) I just can’t imagine how it must feel for something like this to happen.
We’re talking big amounts of money here folks, it’s not the least bit unusual for a Creston job to go out the door at over 100k, and don’t think for a second these proposals are just whipped up over a quick cup of coffee, I should know I used to be the guy making them. (somewhere else of course)
Now, in the interest of verification I’m going to repost a press release sent out by Sapphire Marketing (again via a rAVe HomeAV Breaking News alert) as I doubt being an isolated incident, this would get widespread release otherwise. I’m not posting this to cause AMX any further embarrassment but it does serve as Sapphire’s statement on the matter:
Vice President at AMX Corporation Arrested in Email System Breach of Competitor Sapphire Marketing
Paramus, NJ – Sapphire Marketing announced today that a Vice President of one its chief competitors, AMX Corporation, a Duchossois Industries subsidiary, has been arrested for unlawfully hacking into Sapphire’s email system and stealing confidential information.
AMX Vice President, David Goldenberg, has been charged with Unlawful Access of a Computer System/Network-3rd Degree, Unlawful Access of Computer Data/Theft of Data-2nd Degree, and Conducting an Illegal Wiretap-3rd Degree. Goldenberg’s arrest follows an investigation by the Bergen County New Jersey Prosecutors Office, Computer Crimes unit, which uncovered the scheme by which Goldenberg had stolen thousands of proprietary and confidential emails through repeated, unauthorized access into Sapphire’s secure Email Server.
David Goldenberg joined AMX as Regional Sales Director in June of 2007 and was later promoted to AMX Vice President. Goldenberg unlawfully penetrated and downloaded business intelligence from several Sapphire employees including information about sales proposals, commission statements, pricing, sales reports, personnel records, dealer and consultant and end-user lists among other private and confidential correspondence.
Sapphire Marketing is a leading manufacturers’ representative in the Northeast, most notably representing Crestron Electronics of Rockleigh, New Jersey. Crestron is the world’s leading manufacturer of advanced control and automation systems and innovating technology and is a major direct competitor of AMX. The stolen property enabled Goldenberg at AMX to unfairly compete with manufacturers such as Crestron represented by Sapphire.
“I am shocked by the corrupt sense of entitlement and indifference towards the privacy rights of Sapphire Marketing’s clients and employees”, said Marla Suttenberg, owner of Sapphire Marketing. “It is a disgrace and embarrassment to our industry that a competitor would resort to these kinds of tactics to gain an unfair advantage.”
You’ll note the link to the Bergen County Prosecutors Press Office at the bottom of the press release from Sapphire, I want to warn you there are some pretty seedy crimes mentioned on that page, those other cases are unrelated to Mr. Goldenberg however. This is really an unfortunate event, all around. Here we have one company unfairly beat out of who knows how many bids and another who through the alleged actions of one individual; stands to suffer in the eyes of the entire industry.
Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Commentary