Published on Thursday, February 27, 2020

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills sued for corporate espionage

Hilton is facing a lawsuit which alleges in engaged in corporate espionage against a rival luxury hotel.

The Peninsula Beverly Hills claims Hilton's Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills stole thousands of proprietary documents from the Peninsular via a Peninsula manager who was later hired by the new hotel.

The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills is located just across the road from the Peninsular.

It accuses Hilton, Waldorf-Astoria Management, hotel owner Oasis West Realty, LLC of colluding with the Peninsular's former guest relations manager Houssem Tasco.

In 2017 it allegedly stole guest lists, financial data, personnel records, marketing plans and standard operating procedure documents.

This helped save Waldorf Astoria millions in pre-opening costs.

It was an 'orchestrated scheme to raid and steal the Peninsula's trade secrets' the suit says.

"This is a blatant and outrageous case of corporate espionage, theft of trade secrets and unfair competition where the Hilton Defendants got caught red-handed."

The suit cites a previous case of corporate espionage where Hilton was caught stealing confidential information from Starwood Hotels and Resorts. It paid $75 million in restitution.

It took the Peninsular two years to find evidence that Tasco was not working alone and was 'a pawn in the Hilton Defendant's scheme to steal Peninsula's trade secrets."

The complaint claims Tasco emailed, took screenshots or downloaded more than 45,000 documents in total.

"It was a calculated, unethical and illegal scheme to steal the Peninsula playbook—and that playbook is quite unique," said attorney Skip Miller of LA law firm Miller Barondess LLP.


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