Former AMX VP Who Spied on Crestron Gets 3 Years Probation

David Goldenberg hacked into emails of four employees at a Crestron rep firm, causing 'immeasurable' losses; will a civil suit ensue?

Julie Jacobson · June 26, 2009

David A. Goldenberg, the former AMX executive who spied on a Crestron rep firm, has been sentenced to three years probation.

He was convicted of corporate espionage by Judge Harry G. Carroll at the Bergen County Courthouse for intercepting proprietary e-mails from the Crestron rep firm Sapphire Marketing, Woodcliff Lake, N.J.

The sentence was announced today: three years probation, including psychological counseling, plus fines for felony wiretapping (Case Number- 822-08 Indictment Number- S412-09).

The prosecution had not argued for jail time.

On May 11, 2009, Goldenberg entered a plea of guilty to felony wiretapping.

The investigation revealed that, while an employee of AMX Corp. (a subsidiary of Duchossis Industries), Goldenberg had infiltrated Sapphire’s email accounts. He was intercepting emails related to potential contracts, which gave him advanced knowledge of Sapphire’s customers.

From there, he was able to underbid Crestron jobs and win them for AMX.

Sapphire owner Marla Suttenberg says she knew something was fishy during the nine months Goldenberg intercepted the rep firm’s emails and telephone conferences.

“For months, he just knew too much about what was going on in our area,” she told CE Pro. “He knew our [job] quotes and tried to undercut us on our bids. I had to offer discounts because AMX kept coming in lower.”

As it turns out, Goldenberg was forwarding emails to himself from four Sapphire employees. “He just guessed their passwords,” Suttenberg says. “It makes you cringe.”

Crestron and Sapphire estimate damages in the millions of dollars, but Suttenberg calls the losses “immeasurable.”

Will There be a Civil Suit?

AMX denies any knowledge of Goldenberg’s actions. CEO Rashid Skaf has said he was “surprised and stunned” by the accusations and would never tolerate such behavior at AMX.

It is generally accepted that AMX did indeed have no knowledge of Goldenberg’s shenanigans.

Even so, the company probably benefited from his crimes, according to Crestron executive VP Randy Klein.

Neither Crestron nor Sapphire is commenting on the possibility of civil action against Goldenberg or AMX. Klein did, however, issue this ominous statement:

Mr. Goldenberg is paying the price, but it is hard to believe that his employer and our chief competitor, AMX Corporation, has not benefited from this illegally acquired information. The full damage caused by the compromising of this information is immeasurable and has seriously impacted our past, present and future business.

Prior to being hired by AMX, Goldenberg had been a customer of both Sapphire Marketing and Crestron Electronics.

He approached Crestron for employment in May of 2007 and was not hired. He was hired by AMX in June 2007 as general manager of their east coast office and was promoted to vice president before his arrest.

  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]

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