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Attorney for Korn Ferry exec says fight not over; appeal being filed in Nosal case

March 28, 2018

Former Korn Ferry executive David Nosal is in prison, but he continues to fight his case. His attorney, Steven Gruel, said today he is filing an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals over Judge Edward Chen’s denial of a “writ of error coram nobis.” The writ would have overturned Nosal’s conviction.

“The next step is to go through the Ninth Circuit process,” Gruel said.

Nosal had left Korn ferry in to start his own firm. However, the federal government working with Korn Ferry charged him in 2008 with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for allegedly inducing a Korn Ferry employee to log into the company’s database and provide information to a third party. A jury convicted Nosal in 2013.

Although Nosal had remained out of prison during the legal process, a judge ordered him to report to federal prison in Atwater, Calif., this month. He is due to be released on Jan. 25, 2019.

However, Gruel said it’s hypocritical of the government to send Nosal to prison while Korn Ferry settled a similar suit in civil court.

Search firm Spencer Stuart sued Korn Ferry in March 2017 after two of its executives, Francois Truc and Pierre-Edouard Paquet, resigned to join Korn Ferry, according to court records. Filings in the Nosal case allege the executives “at the direction and participation of Korn Ferry, stole Spencer Stuart confidential and proprietary materials from the latter’s computer system.” However, the case was ultimately dismissed.

Gruel said there was no government investigation or inquiry against Korn Ferry in the Spencer Stuart case.

“I just found it extremely hypocritical on the part of the government and Korn Ferry, the alleged victim, arguing for Mr. Nosal’s incarceration when Korn Ferry did the same thing more egregiously,” Gruel said.

Nosal is adamant about the legal fight and adamant that he has not been given justice as seen by the government’s inaction, Gruel said.

“This is just not a fair result and you have a complete breach of fundamental fairness,” he said.


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