2nd Trial a Mixed Victory for Goldman Sachs Coder

     MANHATTAN (CN) – After winning his freedom following his federal prosecution, former Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov avoided jail time despite his second conviction for unlawful use of valuable computer code.
     Aleynikov had worked for the Goldman Sachs team responsible for creating a high-frequency trading system, which places orders as market data gets processed through its system.
     At his federal trial four years ago, Aleynikov insisted that he only downloaded code that he created from public-domain data, and his defense attorney claimed that the prosecution inappropriately targeted his client at the bank’s behest.
     The 2nd Circuit vacated his first conviction in April 2012 on technical grounds.
     Federal prosecutors charged him under a statute prohibiting the theft of “goods,” not intangible zeros and ones, the appellate court found.
     In the wake of that decision, Manhattan prosecutors tried him again.
     On Friday, a jury convicted him of one count of unlawful use of the code. The other two counts resulted in an acquittal and a hung jury.
     New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance defended the prosecution in a statement.
     “New York City is a place where intellectual property is protected by law,” Vance said. “By allowing individuals, corporations, and government entities to safeguard valuable information, we are encouraging and supporting the research, innovation, and entrepreneurship that is so important to our city in an increasingly competitive digital and global market.”
     Aleynikov’s attorney Kevin Marino said in a phone interview that the judge already revealed that he would not sentence his client to any jail time.
     Stating that his client is “very pleased” with the verdict, Marino said: “We look forward to the judge entering a trial order of dismissal” on the remaining count.

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