A federal appeals court found that making Goldman angry is not a violation of federal law, freeing poor old Sergey so that he could face the same charges in state court. But making Ken Griffin angry? That’s a whole other story—one that could involve 20 years in prison for a plucky 26-year-old programmer who Citadel politely asked to stop downloading its secret sauce onto personal hard drives, but who kept doing it anyway.
Yihao Ben Pu, 26, who was first charged in 2011, today admitted taking the proprietary information from Citadel that year and to an earlier theft of trade secrets from an unnamed company based in Red Bank, New Jersey, that developed HFT infrastructure software….
After Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Otlewski recited allegations contained in the plea agreement, Norgle asked Pu what he intended to do, leaving the momentarily confused defendant to ask the judge to clarify his question.
Norgle asked if Pu intended to plead guilty. The 2009 Cornell University graduate replied, “Yes, I plead guilty.”
Ex-Citadel Worker Pleads Guilty to HFT Data Theft [Bloomberg]