Custom-Publishing Exec Ordered to Pay $4.6M for Business Violations
Several other defendants associated with Shirley were originally named in the case, but reached settlements with Uhlig or were dismissed from the case before trial.
Prior to today’s order, the court also enjoined Shirley and Prism from using trade secrets taken from Cox, which was a major provider of custom publishing services to residential communities and senior living facilities throughout the United States.
The accusations against Shirley centered on electronic evidence obtained through forensic examination of computers and storage devices used by Shirley and his associates, including several high-volume USB drives that Uhlig’s experts concluded had been used to download information from CustomMedia’s computer systems at the time of Shirley’s departure.
“We were fortunate to have such a skilled team of experts, whose long experience in prosecuting serious computer crimes at the FBI and other major national agencies was invaluable in uncovering the facts in this case,” the company said in its statement. “The advanced forensic techniques that our investigators helped to pioneer make it almost impossible to hide evidence of wrongdoing where computers are involved, no matter how hard a defendant works to hide his or her tracks.”
Uhlig also underscored the value of South Carolina’s trade secret statutes, which have some of the nation’s strongest protections for trade-secret owners. “South Carolina trade secret law has been strengthened to close some of the legal loopholes that can be used by trade-secret misappropriators to avoid damages in other states,” the company noted. “That trend is encouraging and, if it continues, will be a very positive factor for high-technology companies that are considering investment in the state.”
Under the terms of the 2008 acquisition, Uhlig acquired substantially all the assets of CustomMedia, but the corporate entity remained a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Newspapers Inc.
Uhlig LLC is an advanced-technology publishing company that is a leader in Internet-based content-management and variable-content publishing services.