This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

After Six Hours Of Deliberations, Sergey Aleynikov Found Guilty

Tyler Durden's picture


Score one for the farce team. That scourge to market efficiency, fairness and integrity, Sergey Aleynikov, about whom we have written tomes, has been found guilty. The HFT code in question, that can "manipulate markets" is safe and sound, back with its true master, Goldman Sachs, which firm promises its malicious attempt to squeeze CDS traders in 2007 is completely irrelevant, and the sheeple once again don't understand that the firm's intentions were nothing but pristine.

From Reuters:

A jury convicted a former
Goldman Sachs computer programmer on criminal charges of
stealing secret high-frequency trading code from Wall Street's
most influential bank.

Sergey Aleynikov, 40, was indicted in February under the
Economic Espionage Act on accusations he copied and removed
computer code from Goldman in June 2009 before taking a new job
with Teza Technologies LLC, a high-frequency trading start-up

Jurors reached their verdict after a two week-long trial in
U.S. District Court in New York. They deliberated for about six

Aleynikov's lawyer contended that his client may have
breached Goldman's confidentiality policy but he did not harm
and could not harm the firm.


- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:14 | 796188 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

Apparently not a jury of his peers.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:36 | 796267 ATG
ATG's picture

GS purloined Martin Armstrong Princeton Economics code

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:47 | 796323 Unholy Dalliance
Unholy Dalliance's picture

Yes - and look what happened to poor Martin.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:47 | 796325 Rick64
Rick64's picture

 Everytime I read about Martin Armstrong it disgusts me the way he was treated. Guilty or not 7 yrs. for contempt is fucking crazy.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:19 | 796443 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

all of this presumes a non corrupt third branch 

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:43 | 796311 Ignatius J Reilly
Ignatius J Reilly's picture

There was a psychological experiment done in the 1950's.  Random, assumably good-hearted people were asked to ask a hidden individual questions.  When the invisible person got the question wrong, the good people were told to press a button to deliver a mild electical shock to the hidden person.  The participant could hear the screams of the hidden person grow as the voltage increased.  The moderator kept prodding the participant to deliver the shock despite any protest.  Those good people always continued to deliver the shocks.


I imagine that those jurors were told stick to the question.  Did this person steal corporate secrets?

The big picture does not matter.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:56 | 796351 Cursive
Cursive's picture

The big picture does not matter.

It's not supposed to matter in court, but my sentiments are with you.  This ruling is equally an indictment of Goldman Sachs' "proprietary" trading platform, but no problem for GS since they are the rulers of this country.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 17:21 | 797013 VisualCSharp
VisualCSharp's picture

For those who don't know, Ignatius is referring to the Milgram experiment.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 17:33 | 797049 Ignatius J Reilly
Ignatius J Reilly's picture

Thank you.


My brain working not good.  Might be from too much alcohol or not enough.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:16 | 796189 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Shades of the old USSR show trials conducted with a flourish to show the world how fair and open the USSR was.

The term show trial is a pejorative description of a type of highly public trial. The term was first recorded in the 1930s.[1] There is a strong connotation that the judicial authorities have already determined the guilt of the defendant and that the actual trial has as its only goal to present the accusation and the verdict to the public as an impressive example and as a warning. Show trials tend to be retributive rather than correctional justice.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:36 | 796292 almost_have_a_name
almost_have_a_name's picture

"Shades of the old USSR"...

Nailed that one.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:20 | 796455 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

kinda the inverse of the Johnny Cash wardrobe, progressively darker   

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:37 | 796297 ATG
ATG's picture

If you listen to AG Eric Holder and cronies re Gitmo show trails with guaranteed outcomes, we are already there

Pogo folks, we have met the enemy

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 16:23 | 796764 Bob
Bob's picture

Yeah, the proofs are continuing to cascade into increasingly public awareness. 

It appears to me that wikileaks may have established an effective Maginot Line.

It remains to be seen how this shit ends. 

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:16 | 796195 Biggus Dickus Jr.
Biggus Dickus Jr.'s picture

Thanks to zero hedge we already know how these programs work. Anybody can now hire a coder and build their own now. Goldman doesn't have an advantage anymore.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:19 | 796209 shushup
shushup's picture

Unless you are 2 young guys Sweeden(I think). These 2 guys programed a computer to beat the HFT programs. They were arrested and forced to give up all the money they made.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:50 | 796330 Rick64
Rick64's picture


Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:21 | 796460 Rick64
Rick64's picture

 Thanks, I remember this now.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 16:24 | 796773 Bob
Bob's picture

Yeah, but they squeezed only their local, 1910-era exchange. 

Sat, 12/11/2010 - 03:26 | 798299 Nassim
Nassim's picture

Norway and Sweden have been seperate countries since 1905 - I think :=)

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:21 | 796214 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Building a good one would take a lot of skill and time.  Also need to get co-located so no, not everyone can do this and the big boys still have an advantage.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:16 | 796196 Racer
Racer's picture

They were quick enough to convict someone like him but the true criminals haven't even been arrested for holding the world to ransom!

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:19 | 796208 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Criminal charges?  Unfucking believable!  Bet the jury was a bunch of idiots that don't know shit about programming or trading.  Sergey rots and GS walks free.  What a miscarriage of justice.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:22 | 796463 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

jury was dumb. as. a. bag. of. rocks.


Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:35 | 796210 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Wasn't it pretty well established that this code was pretty rudimentary and awkward, also?

Hey, when are Lloyd BlankFiend and Jamie Diamond being tried?


In other news, half the jurors are losing their homes to foreclosure.

Sat, 12/11/2010 - 09:54 | 798435 Golden monkey
Golden monkey's picture

God's justice is on "risk on". Bread loaf rationing is next for that bunch of goldless SOB.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:20 | 796213 Bill Lumbergh
Bill Lumbergh's picture

At last this nefarious code will be destroyed and no longer used in our free capital markets.


Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:23 | 796228 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

Don't step.  Word to the wise Julian.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:23 | 796229 Encroaching Darkness
Encroaching Darkness's picture

Let's see, we know from previous stories that GS:
(1) Sold securities that it knew would go kaboom;
(2) Lied to its clients about the safety and solidity of those securities;
(3) Took out insurance (AIG) against the failure of those securities.
(4) Gave extremely poor (self-serving) advice to Greece, which promptly cratered.
(5) Front-runs the entire market through HFT, and now:
(6) Will legally screw their own (former) employees if their interests are threatened.
Why does anyone in the whole world still do any kind of business whatever with these criminal charlatans?

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:23 | 796473 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

"well that's nitpicking isn't it?" - Nigel Tuffnel

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 16:26 | 796783 Bob
Bob's picture


Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:23 | 796230 moofph
moofph's picture

...i'll have an absolut binary kabuki on the rocks with a splash "smear"nof...what's that bartender?...complementary fried squid with hush puppies?

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:27 | 796253 Steak
Steak's picture

Last posting of the playlist today:

the next and final one will be a playlist featuring a producer I have deemed the Artist of 2010

till next week :D

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:30 | 796262 DisparityFlux
DisparityFlux's picture

Sergey Aleynikov made 3 mistakes.

1) He got greedy.

2) He stole from Goldman Sachs. 

3) He didn't cover his tracks.

4) He didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition.

No wait, he made four mistakes.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:33 | 796283 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

#2 on your list is for all it would have taken. It wouldn't be surprising to me if Goldman has enough in their employee files to blackmail anyone who works or has worked for them to do their bidding at any time and place.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:41 | 796304 Racer
Racer's picture

Rather it was simply doing anything GS don't like gets you hung drawn and quartered

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:59 | 796371 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Then either sell your soul in advance and take the loot or else do not work for them.

We're all adults here and can make adult decisions.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:38 | 796486 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

but the return on your soul beats just about every commodity...until you factor in eternity 

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:45 | 796320 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

He made a fifth mistake, at least.  He failed to have enough of a sympathetic position to ensure jury nullification of draconian laws.

In the end, he will be associated with goldman by juries...  as far as juries are concerned, they're all crooks, so who cares if this one goes to jail.  You're also dealing with a defendant making money the jury is never likely to see...  another strike against him.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:24 | 796378 Rick64
Rick64's picture

 Are you familiar with the case of Martin Armstrong? Have you ever heard of 7 yrs. for contempt? I ask you because you are a lawyer and wondered what your opinion is concerning this.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 16:51 | 796874 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

You can tell police to fuck off, you cannot tell a judge to fuck off.  If you are ordered to give back items and you no longer have those items in your possession, you need to have a chain of custody and/or sale.  If you cannot prove you sold or otherwise disposed of the items, then you're going to have to come up with a pretty compelling story.

This stuff happens all the time with the ATF...  basically, the last guy in the chain of ownership of a firearm gets blamed for a crime until proven otherwise...  this is why documenting transfer is so important.

Needless to say, the reasonable presumption is that if you're on the up and up, then you ought to have documentation of transfer...

My take is that it was enough money for him to trade for some jail time.  Ask Lee Murray about it (couple years in a moroccan prison to take away the biggest bank heist haul in england's history).  Remember, we're dealing with rational actors here.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 17:06 | 796950 Rick64
Rick64's picture

 Thanks for your evaluation. Good points.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:29 | 796498 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

as others have wondered, nullification only works if they understand the big picture. That takes a little while to figure that out. ANd then there's those pretty interesting motions in limine 

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 16:30 | 796802 Bob
Bob's picture

Yeah, Blind Justice rules:


Fri, 12/10/2010 - 16:55 | 796903 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

This is the job of his attorneys...  some laws are so harsh that it is virtually impossible to overcome them.  In such an event, it's time to play into sympathies...  in the event the trial court is biased and does not let you present arguments or make statements to the jury in which you are legally entitled, then you appeal...  and make sure you preserve your arguments for appeal and timely file an appeal. 

In the end, he had too much shit stink on him to come out smelling like a rose.  The jury doesn't need to know anything other than he is a thief...  and although he stole from a piece of shit asshole that many would love to remove all of its abilities to function, the jury remained unsympathetic.

I would be very curious as to the jury instructions and closing arguments...  you have to beat it over their fucking heads...

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 17:16 | 796991 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Note to self: Cultivate humility. And maybe resume that annual blood drive thing we had going. You can't be too careful these days.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 17:43 | 797082 Bob
Bob's picture

You might also want to replicate and indeed even extend your work on your own time.  A coder might look at it as his/her Daily Journal/Code Diary.  And of course you don't take it to work with you.

Then you wouldn't get so completely screwed.  Or at least not so easily and predictably.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 18:15 | 797201 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

work for hire baby.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:30 | 796264 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Somehow I'm reminded of the attorney general guy who lost his senate race to the late mel cranahan, who could not care a figlet about the fact that justice was blind in the US, but had to cover her statues breasts because it might upset some whacko sensibilities.

That was telling.

This is a farce.


Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:52 | 796344 The Third Man
The Third Man's picture

John Ashcroft was quite a character. 

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:01 | 796375 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Thanks Third. Yes, J AssCroft. Bush Junior's hatchet man.


Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:34 | 796285 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

If anyone actually thought a "not guilty" verdict was a possibility are a bit disillusioned by the MSM.  Justice is free to the highest bidder.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:38 | 796298 Common_Cents22
Common_Cents22's picture

Instead of trying to hog the code for himself he should have put it on ebay for 100 bucks a shot and sold a million copies.   Or just wikileaked the code.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 14:58 | 796357 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I don't have a lot of sympathy for Sergey.

He worked for GS. He wrote code to rip people off. He got greedy.

Meh. I'm a coder too and I don't think I would invite him to my next cube party.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:19 | 796447 mark mchugh
mark mchugh's picture

Yeah, but Sergey wrote code that worked.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:35 | 796539 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

You saying my code is teh suxness? You don't even know me man.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 17:15 | 796987 mark mchugh
mark mchugh's picture

No, I can however bear witness to defective reasoning.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 17:21 | 797012 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Ha ha! Then you mistook feelings for reasons.

Instincts rule. A cat never yields to reasons. 

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:35 | 796535 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Agree but it has Libby trial flavors 

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:40 | 796565 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Agreed. I hate that part. Assange will be next and after that anyone else that pitches a fit. The noose will get really tight really fast.

I'm just say'n 'bout Sergey as a man. Sellout man is sellout. Then he got caught at it. But he was a sellout the whole time.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 16:44 | 796852 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

maybe it's the criminal trial lawyer in me but I am fed up watching little guys go down hard while I witness the biggest criminals in human history walk free and worse, run the show while my children prepare to be punished. 

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 17:13 | 796967 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I will hazard a guess and suggest it is NOT the criminal trial lawyer inside you feeling that way. It is the regular human being inside you feeling that way.

That's right. The tentacles didn't fool anyone.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 17:45 | 797095 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

weird that a lawyer could be a human, at least I didn't go into politics

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 18:40 | 797265 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

The law itself need not be dehumanizing. The money in the law might be. Politics however by it's very nature dehumanizing. I've rubbed shoulders with some political animals and without exception the longer they stay in the dirtier they become. We lose more good people that way.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 16:34 | 796814 Bob
Bob's picture

Fair enough, Cat.  Yet he did end up being a useful asshole.  Sometimes fate is somewhat kind--he really didn't earn it, but he deserves something for contributing to his times in a larger sense, whether intentionally or not. 

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 18:36 | 797256 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

That's why we have book deals.

Couple years in the cooler and he's a made man.

Notice, no sarc flag here.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 18:44 | 797279 Bob
Bob's picture

You're right.  But we've gotten alot out of him already. 

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:20 | 796452 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

"Aleynikov's lawyer contended that his client may have breached Goldman's confidentiality policy but he did not harm and could not harm the firm.

so true. fuck goldman sachs, soros, rockefeller, gatesl, and the berkshire hathaway asshole

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 16:44 | 796848 Bob
Bob's picture

I have to agree with every name on your list but Soros.  Not because of who he might be, but because of the incredibly corosive power I see that reference wrecking upon otherwise organic attractions of like-minded people on the fundamental issues in play today. 

Follow it in the forums here.  Soros references are instantly and poisonously divisive to people who otherwise, one to one, are in near complete agreement about what matters. 

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:21 | 796459 almost_have_a_name
almost_have_a_name's picture

In the Rust Belt, justice is a bargain. The Banana Republic package is truly complete: no jury hassles, no paperwork, and a press-free results, in about an hour.

Imagine what a Banana Republic with side serving of Blackmail costs in New York !

royals ----> "Pardon me, do you have any Grey"
[Brick]<---- youth

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:25 | 796481 RacerX
RacerX's picture

Ah, the Gollum Sachs has it's Precious back.

All's well in Middle Earth again.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:28 | 796492 lolmaster
lolmaster's picture

This guy was dumb. He can share a jail cell with @$$hkari

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 15:49 | 796612 lolmaster
lolmaster's picture

There are generally two kinds of Russians: 1) supergenius masterminds and 2) dumb lazy criminals. (ok 3) gold digging whores )
Sounds like we have a #2 here

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 18:46 | 797280 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture


Sat, 12/11/2010 - 00:05 | 796697 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Didn't Sarah Palin once say, "Off with his head!"

Or, was that the Queen of Hearts?

Was she talking about Assange, or Aleynikov? Easy to get those A's mixed up.

Of course all of this would have made Stalin proud, show trials and all.

And now, commence with the sheep shearing and buy the dip! Sheep dip that is.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 16:31 | 796805 lolmaster
lolmaster's picture

There are generally two kinds of Russians: 1) supergenius masterminds and 2) dumb lazy criminals. (ok 3) gold digging whores )
Sounds like we have a #2 here

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 18:46 | 797282 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture


Fri, 12/10/2010 - 23:47 | 798012 Artful Dodger
Artful Dodger's picture

What the fuck is wrong with juries these days? Where is the subversion? Presumably they're made up of "common people", on average, yet they're always siding with big business. I would love to get on a jury in a case like this or the P2P one by bullshitting during jury selection, and then subvertng the proceedings in favor of the non-corporate entity.

Law? Who cares about law? It's never about the facts of the case for the big boys, whose crimes are so large that they get away with them.

Just more proof that Americans are completely entranced (in a trance state) by their corporate 0wners.

Sat, 12/11/2010 - 10:32 | 798457 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Presumably they're made up of "common people", on average, yet they're always siding with big business.

Aside from being patently wrong, this was a criminal trial... 

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!