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Goldman fears infringement of its market-rigging power
It's in the fourth paragraph. It's fair that Goldman Sachs has the technology to manipulate a market and unfair if anyone else has it.
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Goldman Sachs' Investment in Trading Program Put at Risk by Theft
By David Glovin and Christine Harper
Monday, July 6, 2009
NEW YORK -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. may lose its investment in a stolen proprietary trading code and millions of dollars from increased competition if software allegedly stolen by a former employee gets into the wrong hands, a prosecutor said.
Sergey Aleynikov, an ex-Goldman Sachs computer programmer, was arrested July 3 after arriving at Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, U.S. officials said. Aleynikov, 39, who has dual American and Russian citizenship, is charged in a criminal complaint with stealing the trading software.
At a court appearance July 4 in Manhattan, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Facciponti told a federal judge that Aleynikov's alleged theft poses a risk to U.S. markets. Aleynikov transferred the code, which is worth millions of dollars, to a computer server in Germany, and others may have had access to it, Facciponti said, adding that New York-based Goldman Sachs may be harmed if the software is disseminated.
"The bank has raised the possibility that there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use this program could use it to manipulate markets in unfair ways," Facciponti said. "The copy in Germany is still out there, and we at this time do not know who else has access to it."
The prosecutor added, "Once it is out there, anybody will be able to use this, and their market share will be adversely affected."
The proprietary code lets the firm do "sophisticated, high-speed and high-volume trades on various stock and commodities markets," prosecutors said in court papers. The trades generate "many millions of dollars" each year.
Defense attorney Sabrina Shroff said in court that the government's allegations are "preposterous." The firm was aware that Aleynikov, who is the father of three young girls, was downloading programs to his personal computer to do work at home and that he hasn't disseminated the code, the lawyer said.
"If Goldman Sachs cannot possibly protect this kind of proprietary information that the government wants you to think is worth the entire United States market, one has to question how they plan to accommodate every other breach," she said.
Michael DuVally, a spokesman for Goldman Sachs in New York, declined to comment.
The case is U.S. v. Aleynikov, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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