According to Chinese officials, three suspects were imprisoned in China for stealing iPad 2 designs from Apple vendor Foxconn. The theft took place at its Guangdong plant late last year, when two workers took the plans and sold them to Xiao Chengsong, a legal agent for Maita Electronics, for 200,000 yuan (approximately $30,900 USD). The incident resulted in a run of counterfeit tablets hitting the market even before the authentic iPad 2’s debut.

A Shenzhen court convicted all three of the crime of violating commercial secrets. Xiao was sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined 150,000 yuan (roughly $23,000 USD). The two Foxconn employees, Lin Kecheng and Hou Pengna, received lighter sentences: Lin got 14 months and a 100,000-yuan fine; Hou received a two-year suspended sentence and was penalized 30,000 yuan.

The iPad 1 was also knocked off prior to its 2010 launch in China. The fakes were sold under the name “iPed” for much less than the cost of the authentic tablet.

[via AFP]