The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has overturned the conviction of former Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov, who was found guilty of stealing proprietary trading code from the bank in December 2010.
The decision can be found here and a full opinion will be released by the court “in due course.” The decision orders the trial court to enter a “judgment of acquittal,” which Dealbook notes “generally bars the government from retrying a defendant.”
Aleynikov’s lawyers had the following comments, Dealbook reports:
“We are pleased and gratified that the court of appeals has roundly rejected the government’s attempt to rewrite the federal criminal laws,” said Kevin Marino, Mr. Aleynikov’s lawyer. “Mr. Aleynikov spent a year in prison and suffered many other losses as a result of these unjust charges, but he never lost faith in his ability to win an acquittal. This is a wonderful day in his life.”
A key issue in the appeal was whether the code Aleynikov took from Goldman when he left for a hedge fund was created for interstate commerce. Aleynikov’s lawyers argued that it was produced for internal purposes and therefore that his actions did not constitute a crime had actually occurred under the language of the Economic Espionage Act.
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