Former Mattel employee pleads guilty to copying confidential documents


A former Mattel Inc. employee pleaded guilty to copying confidential company documents and records after he had accepted a job at rival toy maker MGA Entertainment Inc. and was sentenced in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday.

As part of a plea agreement, Jorge Castilla, 34, will be placed on probation for three years, spend 30 days in county jail or serve 120 hours of structured community service, turn over all Mattel property in his possession and be required to pay restitution of $21,284.20. He was sentenced by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Horwitz.

According to court records, Castilla was working at Mattel in 2006 when he was offered a job at MGA, the maker of the Bratz dolls at the heart of a years-long feud between the two companies. Before he left for MGA, Castilla accessed the databases at Mattel and digitally copied the company’s documents and records without permission.


El Segundo-based Mattel and Van Nuys-based MGA will face off in court again during a retrial of the Bratz dispute scheduled to begin this week in federal court.

The trial over who owns the rights to the sexily dressed multiethnic dolls is expected to last four months and will center on whether MGA infringed Mattel’s copyrights and stole trade secrets from the company. After a trial jury ruled in Mattel’s favor in 2008, an appeals court overturned the verdict last year.