The Australian Federal Court authorised a search this week of the home of Aristocrat Leisure’s principal director of game design over thousands of files he allegedly downloaded from company servers.
Aristocrat sought and received court orders on Tuesday (January 9) to stop Dinh Toan “Tony” Tran from using or disclosing some 6,800 files that the electronic gaming machine giant says Tran downloaded at 7am on a Sunday in December, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Thursday.
An independent lawyer appointed by the Sydney branch of the Federal Court searched Tran’s Sydney home on Wednesday morning and seized six USBs.
One of the USBs was “the focus of the investigation” into the company’s allegations, Aristocrat counsel John Hennessy told the court on Thursday.
Tran was also subject to an order preventing him from using, disclosing or destroying other confidential company data or copyrighted material, and to provide the court-appointed lawyer with all digital information for accessing his work computers and cellphones, the Herald reported.
Tran’s counsel, Ken Brotherson, told the Federal Court that the orders were instituted without Tran’s knowledge and that he had no opportunity to oppose them ahead of the search.
However, it was not immediately clear if or how Tran would defend the allegations.
Social media entries show that Tran is also an executive producer and head of design and development at the company, with a lengthy record of US-patented game designs.
Justice Yaseen Shariff approved the search on Tran’s home because Aristocrat had a legitimate “perception” of potentially improper activity, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported on Thursday.
“It seems to me everything has been done extremely professionally,” AAP quoted him as saying.
The next hearing in the case will be in February because of the complexity of the exhibits, Shariff said.