A federal appeals court in San Francisco today upheld the conviction of a former Silicon Valley executive for a spiral of crimes that began with creating a phony inventor’s notebook and ended with jailhouse plots to threaten witnesses.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed the conviction of Amr Mohsen, 62, on 17 counts, including perjury, fraud, witness tampering and solicitation to commit arson.

Mohsen was convicted of the crimes in the court of a visiting federal judge in San Francisco in 2006 and sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Mohsen was formerly chief executive officer of San Jose-based Aptix Corp., which makes technology for testing complex electronic systems.

The case began as a civil patent infringement lawsuit in 1998 and then turned into a criminal case when Mohsen was accused in 2003 of fabricating an engineer’s notebook used in the patent dispute.

Then, in 2004, federal prosecutors added new charges accusing Mohsen of soliciting a fellow jail inmate to murder U.S. District Judge William Alsup, the judge then presiding over the case.

Mohsen was being held at Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail in Dublin at the time of the alleged plot.

The criminal trial was transferred to a visiting judge from Sacramento.

Mohsen was acquitted of seeking Alsup’s murder but convicted on 17 other counts including intimidating witnesses and seeking the arson of a witness’s car.

In today’s ruling, a three-judge appeals panel rejected Mohsen’s challenges to jury instructions and evidence allowed at the trial.

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