SAN FRANCISCO A federal jury here has found former Aptix Corp. CEO Amr Mohsen guilty of 14 counts, including perjury, mail fraud and obstruction of justice in connection with a 2000 patent dispute involving Aptix, Mentor Graphics Corp. and Quickturn Design Systems.
Phase two of the trial, scheduled to begin March 6, will consider the more serious charges against Mohsen: attempted witness tampering, solicitation to commit arson and solicitation to commit murder.
Mohsen was charged in 2004 with 23 federal criminal counts carrying a potential combined prison sentence of more than 130 years.
While in custody in Dublin, Calif., Mohsen is alleged to have attempted to hire a fellow inmate to threaten witnesses and kill William Alsup, the federal judge presiding over a perjury case against Amr Mohsen and his brother, Aly, who in January pleaded guilty to seven counts of obstruction of justice related to the case.
According to court records, one juror was replaced Monday (Feb. 27) prior to deliberations due to a family emergency. Court records also indicate that the jury requested a copy of the indictment against Mohsen during deliberations, which the court denied.
In 2000, Aptix licensed a patent to Mentor Graphics Corp. designed to allow Mentor to sue archrival Quickturn Design Systems. That case was dismissed when the patent was ruled to be fraudulent. Amr and Aly Mohsen were later indicted on perjury charges.
In March 2004, days before the perjury trial was to begin, Amr Mohsen was arrested by FBI agents and jailed as he apparently tried to flee the U.S. for the Cayman Islands. He was already facing 19 criminal counts, and the apparent flight attempt added another count: contempt of court. Following his arrest, Mohsen resigned his position as Aptix CEO.
The U.S. District Attorney filed a superseding indictment against the Mohsens in U.S. District Court here in July 2004. The superseding indictment added charges against Amr Mohsen of attempted witness tampering, solicitation to commit arson and solicitation to commit murder.
According to a 2004 FBI affidavit, Mohsen tried to negotiate with an FBI informant to have Alsup murdered for $10,000 after the informant had suggested the murder of the judge would cost $25,000. The affidavit also described a recorded conversation in which Mohsen and the informant allegedly discussed various methods of killing the judge.
The original indictment against Mohsen the charges he was found guilty of Monday maintained that he fabricated an engineering notebook and backdated all of its entries to support the validity of the Aptix patent involved in the Aptix-Mentor-Quickturn civil litigation. The indictment claimed that Mohsen subsequently perjured himself during a sworn deposition and attempted to obstruct justice by introducing the notebook into evidence. The indictment also charged Mohsen with suborning the alleged perjury of Aly Mohsen through the mail.
Mohsen spent all of 2005 at a Bay Area detention facility awaiting trial. He filed for bankruptcy in February 2005.