Alleged document destruction Former Videotron employee charged with contempt

Alleged document destruction | Former Videotron employee charged with contempt of court –

A former Videotron employee suspected of seriously jeopardizing the network's security by seizing thousands of “highly confidential and sensitive” documents has been charged with contempt of court. Paul X. Zheng allegedly deleted thousands of Videotron files just minutes after the search of his home began.

Published at 1:10 am. Updated at 5:00 am.


The story so far

March 1, 2023

Paul X. Zheng is fired from Videotron. He allegedly left with thousands of confidential documents.

March 8, 2023

A search requested by Videotron was conducted at Mr. Zheng's home. All of his computers are confiscated.

August 3, 2023

La Presse reveals the affair, which has so far been subject to strict secrecy.

November 15, 2023

Mr. Zheng is accused of contempt of court.

“It’s disgusting!” They found nothing! There was no communication [de documents] to third parties, protests Mr. Paul-Yvan Martin, lawyer for Paul X. Zheng, in an interview. His only mistake is that he told his superiors that Videotron was in crisis. They are no match for the competition from Bell. »

In this case, uncovered by La Presse last August, Videotron claims in court documents that Paul has “significant amounts of highly sensitive and confidential information, documents and information.”

In Videotron's eyes, the situation was extremely serious: the security of the network and infrastructure could be “compromised” if the “very confidential and sensitive” documents allegedly stolen by Mr. Zheng were used maliciously. “There is a real risk to the security of Videotron’s IP network,” the company fears.


In this extremely urgent context, Videotron has obtained an Anton Piller-type injunction, an exceptional procedural tool that allows a “civil” search of a person’s home to be carried out. On March 8, 2023, a locksmith opened the door to Mr. Zheng's apartment in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce district to allow the seizure of Videotron documents.

However, Paul X. Zheng “knowingly and voluntarily destroyed evidence during the execution” of the court order, Videotron alleges in a motion filed last November.

Judge Eleni Yiannakis of the Supreme Court therefore accused Mr. Zheng of contempt of court. In particular, he is accused of a lack of cooperation in the execution of the order. If convicted, he faces a one-year prison sentence. He pleaded not guilty on November 21. His trial is scheduled for this spring.

This “abusive” motion for contempt of court is purely a “procedural strategy” by Videotron, answers Me Paul-Yvan Martin in an interview. According to him, Videotron had not prepared its case and risked having its lawsuit dismissed.

Videotron claims that Paul According to Videotron, Mr. Zheng was alone in his office at the time. A “large quantity” of these files contained the keyword “Videotron.”

The defendant defends himself

However, the Zheng camp has an explanation: These files were deleted when Paul X. Zheng aborted a computer test when the bailiff arrived. That day, Mr. Zheng used non-confidential files to test network management computer systems for Vecima.

Furthermore, if Mr. Zheng worked in parallel for that company in Vancouver, mastering its technology would likely “save Videotron from its extremely precarious situation,” claims Mr. Paul-Yvan Martin.

This second job respected his contract with Videotron in every respect, the lawyer adds.

Videotron also accuses Paul of causing “physical damage” to his computer. It was not possible to repair the device.

In addition, two days after the order was executed, Mr. Zheng handed over three USB flash drives and a computer. Some keys had been inserted into a device in the meantime, according to an expert's affidavit.

“His superiors are angry with him”

According to Me Martin, Paul X. Zheng was wrongfully fired for criticizing the “incompetence” of his superiors. “It was not tolerated. His superiors are angry with him and are trying to find a reason to fire him, so they invented illegal document sharing,” claims Me Martin.

Mr. Zheng's difficult command of English and French is going “poorly” at Videotron, Mr. Martin also argues. His client was trained as an engineer in China in the 1980s and has a master's degree in engineering from Polytechnique Montréal.

His lawyer believes that Videotron's allegations would have far-reaching consequences for Mr. Zheng. “He lost everything,” Mr. Martin said. Many potential employers fear “Chinese spies” and are extremely reluctant to hire his clients, he explains.

“My client didn’t hide anything,” Me Martin repeats. “Videotron, they fight to the death. They never give up,” he says.

Videotron declined to comment.