After a 2010 conviction in federal court for “theft of trade secrets,” a year in prison, and the relief of an overturned conviction in February, Reuters reports that former Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov is back in court today. This time, he faces state charges for the alleged theft of the code that underlies the firm’s high-frequency trading system.
Reached for comment, Mr. Aleynikov’s attorney Kevin Marino confirmed that his client is scheduled to be arraigned downtown this afternoon. Mr. Marino told Betabeat:
“Mr. Aleynikov spent a year in prison for a crime he was later determined to have not committed. It’s difficult to imagine that the authorities would think if appropriate to pursue state charges against him arising out of the same set of facts, but apparently that’s what they’ve chosen to do.”
The felony arrest warrant, dated last week and signed by an FBI agent, charges Aleynikov with “unlawful use of secret scientific material” and “unlawful duplication of computer related material.”
UPDATE: The district attorney’s office has released a statement, confirming that Mr. Aleynikov has been arrested and arraigned “on a felony complaint charging him with accessing and duplicating a complex proprietary and highly confidential computer source code owned by Goldman Sachs.” Included is bit of explanation from DA Cy Vance regarding why bring the charges:
“This code is so highly confidential that it is known in the industry as the firm’s ‘secret sauce,”’ said District Attorney Vance. “Employees who exploit their access to sensitive information should expect to face criminal prosecution in New York State in appropriate cases.”