Sergey Aleynikov, a former Goldman Sachs programmer, has been found guilty of stealing the bank’s algorithmic trading code.
The verdict was handed down by a jury in the same court that a Societe Generale trader was last month convicted of a similar crime.
In the latest case, Aleynikov was found guilty of theft of trade secrets and transportation of stolen property. The trading systems are so secretive that portions of the testimony were closed off from the public and the media.
While at Goldman Sachs, Aleynikov was a high-level IT developer and had the title of vice president. Following the conviction, he faces up to 15 years in prison, and is awaiting sentencing on 18 March. On the judge’s order he is subject to home confinement, and is on a watch list to stop him leaving the country should he attempt to do so.
The 40-year old programmer, originally from Russia, had been accused of copying long lines of algorithmic code used in Goldman Sachs’ high frequency trading platform, and uploading them to a server in Germany. He was accused of attempting to take the code to a new employer.
Aleynikov’s lawyers argued that he was downloading open source code. He also made no attempt to share the code with his new employers, high frequency trading firm Teza Technologies, they said, where he was due to have his salary nearly tripled from what he was earning at Goldman Sachs.
In other Goldman Sachs news, private archived emails sent by the bank's executives have been aired in a high-level US committee hearing. The emails showed the bank had urged traders to “kill” rival investor positions and cause “maximum pain”, months before the full force of the financial crisis hit. The bank insists the language “does not reflect the reality” of its trading at the time.