Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc has claimed that at least five members of rival Hilton Hotels executive committee knew of the alleged theft of trade secrets last year, court papers filed on Thursday showed.

Starwood sued Hilton and two of its top executives for corporate espionage last April, accusing the pair of ex-Starwood workers of stealing trade secrets to speed Hilton's entry into the lifestyle market.

Hilton said at the time that the lawsuit was without merit.

The amended complaint claims that Hilton's Chief Executive Christopher Nassetta and its head of global development, Steven Goldman, also knew of the theft of Starwood's confidential information.

Starwood has now asked the court to appoint one or more monitors to ensure Hilton's compliance with all injunctions and the imposition of a penalty box or time out period for any further development of Hilton's luxury and lifestyle brands.

Hilton could not be immediately reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Southern District of New York. The case number is: U.S. 09 CIV 3862.

(Reporting by Santosh Nadgir in Bangalore; Editing by Erica Billingham)