BUSINESS

Judge Tosses Conviction Of Sergey Aleynikov, Ex-Goldman Sachs Programmer

Sergey Aleynikov, center, exits Manhattan federal court Friday, Feb. 17, 2012, in New York, The unusually speedy mandate from
Sergey Aleynikov, center, exits Manhattan federal court Friday, Feb. 17, 2012, in New York, The unusually speedy mandate from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan will result in freedom for Aleynikov, who was sentenced in March to more than eight years in prison. He was convicted in December 2010 of stealing trade secrets and transporting stolen property in interstate and foreign commerce. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)

A judge has tossed out the conviction of an ex-Goldman Sachs programmer charged with stealing some of the bank's proprietary computer code for its high-speed trading system.

Sergey Aleynikov's conviction was overturned in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Monday after Justice Daniel Conviser said prosecutors "did not prove [Aleynikov] committed this particular obscure crime."

Monday marks the second time the 45-year-old with dual U.S. and Russian citizenship has had a conviction overturned.

After leaving Goldman Sachs in 2009, Aleynikov was arrested and charged under U.S. espionage laws after the firm accused him of downloading some of the source code for its high-speed trading system; the bank had argued the system was so powerful, it could harm the worldwide financial markets if it fell into the wrong hands, according to Forbes.

Aleynikov was convicted of stealing trade secrets in 2011 and sentenced to 97 months in prison, only to have an appeals court overturn his conviction a year later.

Monday's ruling overturns Aleynikov's May conviction. This time he was charged by the state with unlawful use of secret scientific material and unlawful duplication of computer-related material.

"It feels great," Aleynikov told The New York Times after Monday's ruling. His attorney, Kevin Marino, said the decision was "a resounding vindication of the American system of government."

"With today's decision, Sergey Aleynikov has been acquitted of every single crime two sets of prosecutors could conjure in their zeal to do the bidding of Goldman Sachs," Marino said.

Aleynikov was a key figure in Michael Lewis' 2014 best-seller, Flash Boys, which investigated the "insidious" world of Wall Street's high-speed trading and other practices.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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