Ex-Aptix exec gets 17 years in patent case tied to murder plot

Aptix Case

Howard Mintz  Mercury News January 6, 2007

The former chief executive officer of a Silicon Valley high-tech company was sentenced Friday to 17 years in federal prison, ending a bizarre case in which he was convicted of conspiracy, fraud and obstructing justice and accused of plotting to kill a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge William Shubb imposed the sentence on Amr Mohsen, 59, who was convicted in March of 17 felony counts, including perjury, obstructing justice and witness tampering. The charges were all related to the fallout from Mohsen’s ill-fated and bitter patent feud with a rival company that dated to the late 1990s.

Mohsen was acquitted in the lengthy trial of conspiring to kill San Francisco U.S. District Judge William Alsup, whom he blamed for his criminal troubles and the loss of his once-promising Sunnyvale company, Aptix. Federal prosecutors had alleged that Mohsen, while jailed on the perjury and obstruction charges, solicited a hit man to kill Alsup, who had presided over the patent battle between Aptix and San Jose-based Cadence Design Systems.

Mohsen’s troubles stemmed from a long-running court fight between Aptix and Cadence over chip design technology. Alsup, who presided over that civil case, eventually found that Mohsen fabricated key evidence, and referred him and his brother, Aly, to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Mohsen told Shubb at the sentencing that he was “very sorry” he had “caused a lot of pain to a lot of people.” His lawyers plan to appeal the conviction.

Federal prosecutors alleged at trial that Amr Mohsen lied and fabricated key evidence to back up his patent case. Aly Mohsen, a Missouri resident, pleaded guilty earlier in the case to obstruction charges and was sentenced last month to one year in prison.

Amr Mohsen was first indicted in 2003, but jailed a year later when federal agents found he was planning to flee the country with an Egyptian passport and $20,000 in cash three days before he was to go on trial. He has been in custody since.

Reference Link: http://www.mercurynews.com/News/ci_4963307/ExAptix-exec-gets-17-years-in

Aptix Case