The prosecutors charged me with Mail Fraud and Interstate Transportation of Stolen Goods. They claimed that I stole information belonging to Intel Corporation and mailed it to Advanced Micro Devices. Now why would I do that?
According to what the FBI told the press, I was remorseful for having taken material from AMD for so long and wanted to make amends with the company. They must've worked overtime to come up with that one! There was no mention of my meeting with the head of the CIA in Buenos Aires in their press releases and that he 'encouraged' me to cooperate with the agency... or else...
What the prosecutors feared the most was my Motion to Dismiss, especially after I fired my 7th court-appointed attorney and decided to represent myself. A Motion to Dismiss is a brief one files with the court to declare that there is no legal case against the defendant. What would they tell Intel? That they arrested me, but had no case against me?
My arguments were pretty straight forward:
1. I didn't steal. I copied. Copying is not a crime. The statute doesn't penalize copying. Steal, you steal a tangible. When you steal a shoe the owner can't wear it any longer. On the other hand, intangibles can only be copied. People can listen to the same music and watch the same TV programs simultaneously. Relief is obtained by way of civil as opposed to criminal law. Intel did not shut down because I copied its specs. 2. I didn't copy anything belonging to Intel. Like all major corporations, Intel does not patent its fabrication process. In order to have protection for intellectual property, a company must disclose what it wants protected to the patent office. As a result of my case, Congress enacted the Industrial Espionage Act of 1996. 3. There was no motive for this crime. The indictment did not even mention that any money was requested or changed hands. Since Intel and AMD have essentially the same process, what did the instant crime consist of? What damage or harm was done and to whom and for what reason?
So what did the prosecutors do? Did they fight the legality of the detention in court?
No! They did it the American way. They made me an offer I couldn't refuse. They kindly asked to plead guilty or they would put my wife away. The carrot they offered was to recommend to the INS against deportation. They did so despite that Judge Whyte, the prosecutors and the INS knew that I was an illegal alien. I entered the US in 1974 and then again in 1977 with a tourist visa and overstayed 20 years.