An investigation into the illegal selling of Intel sample CPUs in Taiwan has now resulted in arrests. The China Post reports today that four engineers that worked for Intel's OEM makers have now been arrested and charged with allegedly selling engineering sample versions of Intel's CPU products on eBay. The four unnamed suspects are now facing jail time that could be as long as five years.
The story states that the Criminal Investigation Bureau in Taiwan started investigating reports back in September that some people were selling these sample CPUs on eBay and generating a huge profit as a result of their actions. In December, the CIB conducted a raid on the suspects' own residences and confiscated a total of 178 sample CPUs. The suspects reportedly admitted their actions, saying they had sold a whopping 500 Intel CPU samples since 2009.
These kinds of processors are never meant to be sold to the general public. Rather, they are usually given to OEM makers to help the manufacturers with their product development under a non-disclosure agreement. The story does not state which of the OEM makers the suspects in this case worked for.