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Game of War developer busted for alleged trade secret theft

A former Silicon Valley manager at the company that developed the mega-hit Game of War was arrested last week for allegedly stealing trade secrets.

Jing Zeng, 42, was detained at San Francisco International Airport as he prepared to board a flight for China, the DOJ said.

An affidavit supporting the criminal complaint said Zeng, of San Ramon, California, learned he was being fired. He then allegedly downloaded over a hundred files containing propriety, non-public information from a confidential Machine Zone, Inc. database.

Machine Zone makes the hugely popular on-line video game Game of War: Fire Age. 

Zeng allegedly downloaded the information onto his company laptop and then transferred it to an external device. He then wiped and reformatted the laptop and returned the computer to the company, the DOJ said. 

"The complaint alleges there is probable cause to believe Zeng’s acts amount to a theft of trade secrets in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1832(a)(2)."

Zeng joined Machine Zone in November 2014 as a director and left in July this year.

He was told to leave the company after he began complaining about his role there, reports said.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.