This case gets more interesting by the moment. You can read to where a judge over turned his original conviction and I commented there as all as far as getting a jury of peers with sophisticated trials such as his. The judge may not be a code expert who over turned his sentence due to the fact that he was not intending to use for interstate commerce, a fine line it appears in the legal interpretation. Now the state of New York is going at it and frankly how are they going to prove their case? I’m not saying one way or the other as far as guilt or innocence but darn there’s so much to cover here and I’m sure he was operating from subversion so everyone knows who has what code checked out for sure, how it works and keeps an audit trail.
Now Aleynikov is suing Goldman Sachs as well for his legal fees and time it took for the case that was overturned for $2.4 million. I say go for it for sure. Again cases as such have to be very specific and actually prove a number of items and there was no denial of taking the code as again without knowing how Goldman is set up, all code checked out runs an audit trail. The US court system is not prepared for cases as such as they complex and again a jury of peers would be difficult to find. I’m not saying that a regular jury is dumb by any means but the level of proving such a case has risen a number of notches in the last few years for sure. How does a layman jury know the difference between open source and proprietary code? They don’t. Again the files seemed to be small and it would more than likely be a module that has to work with other queries and algorithms as well so until that was actually proven in court with a visual from a programmer that could show how this would be done, I don’t think there’s anywhere for this case to go. BD
Goldman Sachs Programmer Who Went to Jail for Stealing Code Has His Conviction Overturned–You Can’t Get A Jury of Peers Off the Street for Crimes With High Tech Algos
NEW YORK -- A former Goldman Sachs Group Inc computer programmer indicted on charges of stealing trade secrets has rebuffed a plea offer that would keep him out of prison, his lawyer said on Thursday.
Sergey Aleynikov, 42, was formally indicted Thursday on New York state criminal charges of stealing proprietary trading code from the bank. The indictment is the latest development in a years-long legal battle between Aleynikov and federal and state prosecutors.
Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joanne Li told State Supreme Court Justice Ronald Zweibel that her office had offered Aleynikov a sentence of time served in exchange for a guilty plea. Under the proposed deal, he would not have to serve additional prison time beyond the roughly one year he already served following his conviction on federal charges.
Aleynikov had served nearly a year of an eight-year prison sentence before the appeals court ordered him released. If convicted in state court, Aleynikov could face up to four years in prison.
His conviction was reversed in part because the appeals court said the Justice Department failed to show that the stolen code was intended for "interstate commerce," a necessary element under the federal Economic Espionage Act.
Earlier this week, Aleynikov sued Goldman in New Jersey federal court for $2.4 million in legal fees, demanding that the bank cover his costs of fighting the federal prosecution. The lawsuit claims Delaware law and the bank's bylaws entitle corporate officers to indemnification when they successfully defend themselves against charges.