Three people were sentenced to prison for attempting to steal information on Apple’s (AAPL.NYSE, AAPL.NASDAQ) iPad 2 before its release in China, the Wall Street Journal reported. Prosecutors alleged that the general manger of Shenzhen MacTop Electronics, an electronics accessories firm, paid two employees of Hon Hai Precision Industry (HHPD.LSE) – the manufacturer of the iPad – about US$3,000 for device specs in order to make protective cases for the tablet PC six months before its release. MacTop is then said to have released the cases on the business-to-business website Alibaba.com (1688.HK) prior to the iPad 2’s release. The Shenzhen court handed the three defendants sentences ranging from 12-18 months, including fines. Hon Hai has landed contracts with US technology firms such as Apple, Dell (DELL.NASDAQ), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.NYSE), Nintendo (7974.TYO, NTO.FWB) and Sony (SNE.NYSE, 6758.TYO) in part due to its strict confidentiality measures.