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Ex-Goldman employee out on bail in code theft case

  • Story Highlights
  • Former Goldman Sachs computer programmer Sergey Aleynikov out on bail
  • Aleynikov accused of stealing code for automated stock, commodities trading
  • Aleynikov claims he only wanted to collect "open source files," didn't plan to sell info
From Karina Frayter
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- A former Goldman Sachs employee accused of stealing a proprietary computer code to the firm's trading program is out on bail, according to court documents.

Sergey Aleynikov, who was a computer programmer, was arrested by the FBI on Friday and charged with "theft of trade secrets," as well as "transportation of foreign property."

Federal prosecutors allege he improperly copied a proprietary code used for sophisticated automated stock and commodities trading, and uploaded it to a computer server in Germany.

Aleynikov met conditions of his $750,000 bail and was released Monday, court documents show.

The alleged actions took place between June 1 and Friday, when Aleynikov was arrested as he got off a flight at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, prosecutors said.

Assistant U.S. attorney Joseph Facciponti told a federal judge that the software was worth millions of dollars and generated "many millions of profits per year" for the bank, according to a transcript from the hearing in Manhattan on Saturday.

Facciponti added that New York-based Goldman Sachs may be harmed if the software is disseminated. "The bank has raised a possibility that there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use this program could use it to manipulate markets in unfair ways," he said.

A representative for Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

Aleynikov told authorities after his arrest that he only wanted to collect "open source files" on which he had worked, but later realized he collected more files than he intended, according to court documents. He also said he did not plan to sell the information.

Terms of his bail required a $750,000 personal recognizance bond to be secured by three financially responsible people. Aleynikov had to surrender his travel documents and not access the computer data pertinent to the case.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for August 3.

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