Doomsday Code Thief Might Get a Pass

Eddie Braverman's picture
Rank: The Pro | 21,138

Remember Sergey Aleynikov? He was the guy who allegedly stole bits of the proprietary code from Goldman Sachs's freq trading platform and had the FBI kick down his door about eleven minutes later. At the time, the code was credited with the ability to bring about the destruction of mankind if it fell into the wrong hands (Video Here).

Aleynikov claimed it was all a simple misunderstanding, and that it was perfectly normal for a resigning programmer to upload bits of proprietary code to an anonymous offshore server in a non-extradition country before joining his new firm that does, oh yeah, the exact same thing. Now it looks like there might be some merit to his outwardly flimsy excuses.

Prosecutors are agreeing to consider a motion by Aleynikov's defense team to either knock the charges down to a misdemeanor, or to dismiss the charges altogether in a deferred prosecution agreement. Normally in a deferred prosecution agreement there is some quid pro quo, so either Aleynikov really is innocent or he's willing to share info that prosecutors are more interested in than they are in sending him up the river.

What would a former Goldman Sachs high-frequency trading programmer know that would be of any interest to federal prosecutors?


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Nov 18, 2009