Former Goldman Sachs computer programmer Sergey Aleynikov is fighting to keep his case alive.
After spending more than eight years defending his reputation against charges he stole vital computer code as he exited the Wall Street bank for a new job, the math whiz on Thursday moved to appeal his state court conviction, on which he faces up to four years in prison.
Last month, a state appellate court reinstated a guilty verdict in his topsy-turvy legal battle.
Aleynikov’s longtime lawyer, Kevin Marino, filed paperwork to bring the case to the NY Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.
In the filing, Marino blasted the state appellate panel for misreading “antiquated larceny laws” that weren’t meant to apply to computer code.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, who prosecuted the state case, disagrees.
“The Appellate Division’s reinstatement of the jury’s guilty verdict was based on a sound, common-sense interpretation of the law,” Emily Tuttle, a Vance spokeswoman, said in a statement.
The 47-year-old Russian-born programmer has been convicted twice of theft charges — once in federal court and once in state court, spent 11 months in jail and has run up millions of dollars in legal bills.
Earlier, a federal appeals court overturned one conviction, and a state judge tossed a jury conviction.
Aleynikov worked as a programmer for Goldman’s high-frequency trading operation until 2009, when he left to take a similar job at a Chicago firm, Teza Technologies.
Aleynikov made a copy of the bank’s source code. Goldman complained to the FBI, which arrested Aleynikov at Newark airport.
DA Vance, who jumped into the case after the federal conviction was tossed, has claimed that the code Aleynikov took was Goldman’s “secret sauce” for its ultra-fast trading computers.
Aleynikov doesn’t dispute he took the code, but claims he wanted to study it. His lawyer says that he didn’t break any criminal laws, and the matter should be a civil dispute.
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