The former regional manager of a major Bay Area executive search firm was sentenced to a year in federal prison Wednesday for stealing trade secrets by getting former co-workers to download customer information that he used to start his own firm.
David Nosal, a former managing director at Korn/Ferry International in Redwood City, was convicted of six felony charges by a San Francisco federal court jury in April.
He left Korn/Ferry in 2004 and, according to prosecutors, got three employees to use their computer access to obtain customer lists and other secret information, which he used in his new business, Nosal Partners.
At Wednesday's hearing, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen acknowledged that Nosal had worked his way up from modest beginnings, had been generous to his workers and was unlikely to commit any crimes in the future. But Chen said Nosal had been convicted of serious crimes and that a prison sentence would send a message to others.