NEW YORK (AP) — Six months after getting a federal conviction overturned, a former Goldman Sachs computer programmer is being charged again with illegally using valuable trading software from the investment bank, a person familiar with the case said Thursday.
Sergey Aleynikov was facing arraignment — this time on state charges. The allegations appear similar to the former federal case, in which he was charged with copying confidential computer code used for the burgeoning, lucrative practice of high-speed trading, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the charges had yet to be made public.
Aleynikov’s lawyer, Kevin Marino, said he and his client “look forward to vigorously defending Mr. Aleynikov against these false charges.”
The Russian-born Aleynikov was freed from federal prison in February after a federal appeals court said a law used to convict him was misinterpreted.
He had served about a year of a more than eight-year sentence in a case that tested the limits of what can be considered a crime as companies seek to protect their intellectual property from competitors.
“Justice occasionally works,” he said in February as he was released and headed home to North Caldwell, N.J.
A federal jury had convicted him in December 2010 of stealing trade secrets. Federal prosecutors said he took the software to help his new company gain an advantage with high-speed trading.
During a trial, Marino said Aleynikov just tried to duplicate parts of Goldman’s software that came from public computer code. He acknowledged that Aleynikov had violated the company’s confidentiality agreements but said that was a matter for a lawsuit, not a criminal case.
The trial spotlighted high-speed trading, in which sophisticated computer programs use mathematical formulas to evaluate moment-to-moment developments in the market and execute scores of trades in short periods of time.
The government said Goldman Sachs made millions of dollars a year in profits from high-speed trading and has a competitive advantage over rivals because of the speed of its computer programs.
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