Eyeing The Competition

Corporate espionage is so pernicious that the U.S. passed a law to curb it. But in today's global economy, dirty tricks are all in a day's work

The title of the hand-scribbled memo outlined Waste Management's goal in no uncertain terms: "Cadiz Kill." In 1995 Cadiz Inc., an agricultural firm based in Santa Monica, Calif., was leading opposition to Waste Management's proposal to build a mega-garbage dump near its property. So, like any other tactically thinking business, the country's largest trash hauler brought in a consultant to get things moving.

Joseph Lauricella, though, wasn't your typical McKinsey man. He set up a sham pro-dump grassroots organization. His duties, according to San Bernardino County grand jury indictments and his testimony, included swiping confidential data, sabotaging potential deals and...

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