Taipei prosecutors yesterday questioned three employees of smartphone vendor HTC Corp (宏達電) and searched their offices at HTC on suspicion of embezzlement and theft of commercial secrets.
The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office said the investigation was launched after HTC filed a lawsuit against the three executives working in the company’s research department.
Prosecutors and agents from the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau searched their offices in HTC’s building in Sindian District (新店) in the afternoon after the stock market closed.
HTC shares rose 5.74 percent to NT$156.50 yesterday.
Investigators seized the three employees’ smartphones. Agents also searched their residences.
Investigators also summoned the three for questioning. Police questioning was ongoing at press time.
Prosecutors said HTC sued the three on suspicion of using fake receipts to seek reimbursements of close to NT$10 million (US$333,000) from the company.
The trio have allegedly set up a front company to do design work for a new phone model, prosecutors said.
HTC told prosecutors that the three were planning to open three phone-design companies in Taiwan and China, with their offices currently being decorated.
The company accused the trio of stealing commercial secrets related to a new model’s screen interface.
The new smartphone is set to be unveiled to the public in six months, according to the company.
HTC has also accused the three of breaking the company’s trust, fraud and leaking commercial secrets, according to prosecutors.
The company said in a statement that it could not comment on the raid as the case is still under investigation.