The charges against Peter Alfred-Adekeye, a British national who worked for Cisco before leaving to start his own company, were reported in local Vancouver media this week.
Alfred-Adekeye was arrested in May 2010 in Vancouver, on 97 counts of accessing a protected computer without authorization based on a complaint returned by a Secret Service Special Agent.
The networking giant alleged that its former engineer used another employee's credentials to log into one of its restricted websites and download software.
In 2008, Alfred-Adekeye's new company, Multiven, based in Redwood City, California, filed an antitrust lawsuit against Cisco, claiming that it is stifling competition by forcing its customers to sign service contracts to receive software bug fixes.
Multiven provides support services for networking equipment, including those manufactured by Cisco. The company alleged that by forcing its customers to sign service contracts in order to receives software updates, Cisco was depriving it of potential clients.
In comparison, other large companies like Microsoft or Apple provide their customers with security patches and bug fixes for free.
Multiven claims that Cisco pushed for the case against Alfred-Adekeye in order to force a settlement, which it eventually obtained in July, 2010, two months after his arrest.
Alfred-Adekeye, who lives in Zurich, has been unable to leave Canada since his release on bail ten months ago, because the Canadian authorities are waiting for the U.S. Attorney's Office to present the evidence necessary for extradition.
In the meantime, the man's lawyers have initiated hearings to try and establish if the Canadian authorities weren't misled about the need to arrest him. Cisco denies any accusation that it initiated the criminal case against Alfred-Adekeye in order to force his hand.