In New York, a court acquitted a Russian programmer accused of stealing sensitive materials
On Monday, July 6, a New York court acquitted Sergei Aleinikov, a programmer from Russia, who was accused of embezzling software when he left Goldman Sachs.
The trial between Aleinikov and his former employer Goldman Sachs started back in 2009 year. A native of Moscow, who received American citizenship, he worked at Goldman Sachs as a programmer for a little over two years, working on the development of computer programs and technical support for the bank’s trading system.
In July, 2009, Aleinikov left Goldman Sachs, moving to Teza Technologies. A month later, he was arrested at New York Airport.
According to the prosecution, shortly before leaving the bank, in June 2009, the programmer uploaded thousands of files to the third-party server that contained the program code. The prosecutor’s office accused Aleinikov of embezzling codes that he intended to use in a new startup. Aleinikov himself pleaded not guilty.
In March 2011, he was sentenced to eight years in prison for stealing business secrets, but in February, 2012 went free by decision of the Court of Appeal, which ruled that the program code can not be physical property. The court unanimously agreed with Aleinikov’s statement that he did not have the code physically. In addition, during an arrest in July 2009, the programmer stated that he was copying files that were only publicly available, not knowing that confidential data was being downloaded along with them.
However, in August 2012, the American Prosecutor's Office pushed against Aleinikov new charges. In the spring of 2015, a jury convicted him of stealing a code.
In a court decision from 6 in July 2015, Judge Daniel Convaiser noted that the prosecution could not prove the illegal use of secret codes. According to the judge, the law 1967 of the year to which she referred does not correspond to modern realities: half a century ago, lawmakers could not foresee technologies that allow instantly translating computer code over thousands of kilometers.
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