A Bordentown City man has been charged with theft of intellectual property while employed by a luxury boat maker in Bass River Township.
Cameron O’Connell, 27, has been charged with computer crime (second degree) and two counts of unlawful possession of a weapon (second degree). The weapons charges are unrelated to computer crime and were filed after two handguns were allegedly found during the execution of a search warrant by New Jersey State Police on September 22 in O’Connell’s residence, according to a joint statement released by Burlington County. Attorney Scott Coffina and New Jersey State Police Col. Patrick J. Callahan on September 29.
O’Connell, who was taken into custody at the time, was released after an initial Superior Court appearance by Mounty Holly, the statement said. The case will now be prepared to go to a Burlington County grand jury for possible arraignment.
“Industrial espionage is a very serious crime; the theft of trade secrets and other confidential information can be devastating for a business, ”Coffina said in the statement. “We are committed to protecting Burlington County businesses from the theft of their property, whether at the sales counter or in the design room. “
The investigation began in early September after representatives of Viking Yacht Company in Bass River Township contacted New Jersey State Police and said their internal information network had been compromised, the allegations were made. The company had determined that the proprietary intellectual property was downloaded to a USB device through the defendant’s desktop computer after its login details were used to access it, the statement said.
“O’Connell stole intellectual property by secretly downloading data from his employer’s internal network using a USB storage device. This type of theft has real consequences, which can cost businesses millions and lead to job losses, ”Callahan said in the statement. “We will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute 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 Deputy Prosecutor Joseph Remy. The investigation was conducted by detectives from the Tuckerton Station of the New Jersey State Police.