Source: Former exec an apparent suicide

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The former president and chief executive of Melville-based data storage company FalconStor Software died Monday in what a police source said was an apparent suicide.

ReiJane Huai, 52, was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at North Shore University Hospital Monday morning, a hospital spokeswoman confirmed.

Huai and his former company were being investigated by the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District and the Securities and Exchange Commission. He had resigned from the company last year after investigators began looking into alleged improper payments he made to a customer.

Nassau police said Old Brookville police had responded to a house in the village to investigate what turned out to be "an apparent suicide." Nassau police declined to say whether Huai was the suicide victim, but a police source confirmed that Huai was that person. Records show the house that police went to belonged to Huai.

Roman Kichorowsky, a FalconStor spokesman, said in a statement: "It is with great sorrow that we received the news of ReiJane Huai's death today. . . . He was a visionary and a leader, and he was admired and respected by a great many people. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Huai family during this extremely difficult time."

Huai resigned in September 2010 after the investigations began. Last November, the SEC filed an insider-trading class-action lawsuit against Huai and two other FalconStor executives.

"We cannot predict the scope, timing or the outcomes of these investigations," said FalconStor's 2010 annual report.

In October, the SEC slapped the company with a subpoena seeking documentation on the company's dealings with the customer Haui disclosed he made the alleged payments to, along with documentation of the company's accounting practices.

Last month, the company reported losses and lower sales in its second quarter. FalconStor reported it lost $5.8 million on revenue of $19.6 million, compared to the same quarter last year when it had a loss -- $3.3 million -- on $20.2 million revenue.

Huai, a self-described workaholic, had been a fast-rising star in the software industry in the 1980s and 1990s. He was at the helm of Roslyn Heights-based Cheyenne Software when Computer Associates eventually acquired the company in a $1.2 billion deal.

Huai and CA owner Charles Wang became close friends.

Huai, who was married and a father of two, was born in Taiwan, where he studied computer science. He came to the United States in 1984, lured by a scholarship from Stony Brook University. He received his master's degree in computer science in two semesters and went to work for Cheyenne in 1985. He worked at Bell Labs for a year in 1987 before returning to Cheyenne as director of engineering and later chief executive.

With Mark Harrington

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