DISPATCHES

FBI Sting Nets “As Seen On TV” Employee

By:

NEWARK, N.J.

After a two-month sting operation, FBI agents arrested an employee of a prominent direct response marketer on charges of stealing trade secrets, announced U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman. In October, defendant Ralph Mandil was charged with the theft of trade secrets and wire fraud, which carry maximum sentences of 10 and 20 years in prison, respectively.

Mandil, an employee of a manufacturer of products “frequently marketed via television ads,” allegedly stole and offered to sell merchandise and trade secrets including the names of unreleased products, product specifications, artwork, advertising, market data, and manufacturing information to agents posing as employees of a competitor, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. For $197,500, Mandil allegedly promised access to an online cloud-storage account containing the secrets; $10,000 bought the investigators samples of merchandise and information.