PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that SERGEY ALEYNIKOV, a former computer programmer at Goldman Sachs & Co. (“Goldman Sachs”) was convicted today in federal court in Manhattan to 97 months in prison for stealing precious and exclusive computer code from Goldman Sachs. A Manhattan federal court jury previously found ALEYNIKOV guilty on December 10, 2010 of theft of trade secrets and charges of interstate transportation of stolen goods. US District Judge DENISE L. COTE pronounced ALEYNIKOV’s sentence.
Manhattan US Attorney PREET BHARARA said, âProtecting the proprietary information of US companies is of critical importance. Today’s conviction sends a clear message that professionals like Sergey Aleynikov who abuse their position of trust to steal confidential business information from their employers will be prosecuted and punished.
According to the evidence presented at trial and at the sentencing hearing:
From May 2007 to June 2009, ALEYNIKOV was employed at Goldman Sachs as a computer programmer responsible for the development of computer programs supporting the company’s high frequency trading in various commodity and stock markets. Since acquiring the system in 1999 for approximately $ 500 million, Goldman Sachs has modified and maintained it and has taken significant steps to protect the confidentiality of its computer programs. Goldman Sachs’ trading system has generated millions of dollars in profit per year for the company. They took several steps to protect the system’s source code, including requiring all Goldman employees to agree to a confidentiality agreement.
In April 2009, ALEYNIKOV resigned from Goldman Sachs and accepted a position with Teza Technologies (âTezaâ), a newly formed company in Chicago, Illinois. He was hired to develop Teza’s own version of a computer platform that would allow Teza to engage in high frequency trading. His last day of work at Goldman Sachs was June 5, 2009.
As of approximately 5:20 p.m. on June 5, 2009 â his last day of work at Goldman Sachs â ALEYNIKOV, from his office at Goldman Sachs, transferred substantial portions of the company’s proprietary computer code for its trading platform to an external computer server in Germany. He encrypted the files and transferred them over the Internet without notifying Goldman Sachs. After transferring the files, he deleted the program he was using to encrypt them and deleted âbash historyâ from his computer, which records the most recent commands executed on his computer.
In addition, throughout his tenure at Goldman Sachs, ALEYNIKOV transferred thousands of computer code files related to the company’s proprietary business program from the company’s computers to his personal computers, either blindly or wirelessly. authorization from Goldman Sachs.
On July 2, 2009, ALEYNIKOV traveled to Chicago, Illinois to attend meetings at Teza’s offices, taking with him his laptop and another storage device, each containing Goldman’s proprietary source code. Sachs. He was arrested on July 3, 2009, as he arrived at Newark Airport after this visit.
In addition to the prison sentence, Judge COTE ordered ALEYNIKOV to serve three years of supervised release following his prison sentence. Judge COTE also ordered him to pay a fine of $ 12,500.
During the sentencing process, Judge COTE said: â[Aleynikovâs] Conduct deserves significant punishment because the scope of her theft was daring – motivated only by greed, and she was characterized by supreme disloyalty to her employer. “
Mr. BHARARA praised the FBI’s investigative work in this matter. Mr. BHARARA also thanked Goldman Sachs for its cooperation in the investigation.
This case is handled by the Office’s Complex Fraud Unit. The American deputy prosecutors JOSEPH FACCIPONTI and REBECCA ROHR are in charge of the prosecutions.