October 7, 2010 / 10:00 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 1-BofA sues ex-employee for trade secrets theft

2 Min Read

* Employee was among 400 laid off by global division

* Theft of information on profits, losses, risk - lawsuit

NEW YORK, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) has accused a former computer programmer of stealing trade secrets from databases before he left the bank last month, according to a lawsuit filed in a U.S. court on Thursday.

It said Rao Chalasani worked for the bank's global markets portfolio management group in New York until Sept. 22, the day after the bank announced it was laying off 400 employees.

The bank said Chalasani, of Short Hills, New Jersey, had sent an email on Sept. 20 from his company address to a personal email address containing 21 files, according to the lawsuit in Manhattan federal court.

"The files attached to defendant's email all contain confidential and proprietary, nonpublic information concerning Bank of America, including profit and loss figures for different lines of its businesses throughout the world," the lawsuit said.

It said the information included the bank's "current trading positions in numerous securities and the company's assessment of risk."

The lawsuit said the email transfer was discovered on Sept. 30 in a regular review of emails containing unusually large attachments that company employees send to address outside the company.

In late September, the bank laid off less than 5 percent of its staff within its global banking and markets division.

The unit includes BofA's investment banking and trading operations.

The so-called reduction in force -- the first since America's largest bank bought Merrill Lynch in 2009 -- came after a strategic review by global markets chief Tom Montag.

A call to a listed telephone number in the name of Rao Chalasani in Short Hills, New Jersey, was not answered.

The case is Bank of America v Rao V Chalasani, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 10-7681. (Reporting by Grant McCool; additional reporting by Joe Rauch; editing by Andre Grenon)

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