August 10, 2009 / 8:54 PM / 10 years ago

Goldman must yield info in trade secret case: judge

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc will have to give up its personnel information on a former employee accused of stealing trade secrets, after a U.S. judge on Monday denied the firm’s motion to quash a request by the computer programmer’s lawyer.

Flags fly outside of the Goldman Sachs headquarters building in the financial district of New York May 8, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The firm must provide the lawyer with documents from the personnel file of its former programer Sergey Aleynikov, who faces criminal charges of stealing Goldman code used in trading, Judge Paul Crotty ordered in Manhattan federal court.

The lawyer subpoenaed Goldman for the file last week and the firm submitted a motion to quash the request.

Crotty ordered Goldman to provide documents including Aleynikov’s job application, interview, job offer letter, performance reviews, progress reports and any training.

Aleynikov is free on $750,000 bail. He was detained for several days following his arrest by the FBI at Newark Liberty International Airport on the night of July 3.

He was charged in a criminal complaint of stealing code used for trading from Goldman. The government said he downloaded the code onto a home computer.

He has not been indicted and court documents show his lawyer and U.S. prosecutors are in talks “on a possible resolution of the case” — a legal term that often, but not always, indicates a defendant may plead guilty.

In a court hearing on Thursday, Goldman lawyer Matthew Friedrich argued that the request may not be allowed under pretrial rules. Aleynikov’s lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, said she wanted to show U.S. prosecutors her client was not fired.

“They just may be under a false impression,” Shroff said.

The lawyer has said Aleynikov was not guilty and there was no harm to Goldman.

Aleynikov, 39, worked at Goldman in New York for two years before joining Teza Technologies, a Chicago firm, in June. Teza suspended him after his arrest.

In a July 4 court hearing, a U.S. prosecutor said the purported theft of code from Goldman threatens to cost the firm millions of dollars.

Aleynikov told investigators Goldman Sachs knew he had worked on the program from home previously and he had no intention of stealing information.

The case is USA v Aleynikov 09-mj-01553 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan)

Reporting by Grant McCool; Editing Bernard Orr, Gary Hill

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