Not guilty

Michael Lewis’ Protagonist, Ex-Goldman Sachs Coder Cleared of Charges

Sergey Aleynikov, who inspired the creation of high-frequency trading blockbuster ‘Flash Boys’ by Michael Lewis, gets exonerated again

One of the main characters who inspired the creation of the book ‘Flash Boys’, exploring the vast amount of resources committed to high-frequency trading on Wall Street, Sergey Aleynikov, was pronounced not guilty by the Manhattan Supreme Court.

The former coder at U.S. bank Goldman Sachs was charged of stealing the company’s intellectual property related to high-frequency trading algorithms when he left for another firm.

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After spending a year in prison, Mr. Aleynikov has successfully convinced a state judge to reverse the court’s decision, a win which was challenged by prosecutors in the Manhattan Supreme Court.

Aleynikov is still seeking $7 million from Goldman Sachs to pay for his defence

The U.S. and Russia dual citizen first got arrested in 2009 when he was charged under the U.S. corporate espionage law. After his conviction, he served almost a year in prison before winning an appeal in 2012.

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His was then arrested again on different charges for copying the intellectual property of Goldman Sachs under an old state law aimed at preventing the unlawful use of scientific material which is secret and the unlawful copying of so called “computer-related material”.

Mr. Aleynikov still faces a potential appeal and has yet to see the conclusion of his civil case against Goldman Sachs, where he is seeking $7 million to pay for his defence.

Allegations stated that in the wrong hands the copied code could have been used to “manipulate markets”

In 2009, the programmer was sentenced to eight years in prison after copying what he claims was for the most part open source code from Goldman Sachs computers.

The renowned author in finance related books, Michael Lewis, became interested in the case after hearing about Aleynikov’s case. He wrote in ‘Flash Boys’, that according to the court decision the allegations stated that the copied code could have been used to “manipulate markets in unfair ways” in the wrong hands.

After doubting that Goldman Sachs were the right hands, Mr. Lewis went on with his massive investigation which instilled substantial controversy in April last year after the publication of ‘Flash Boys’.

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