Court Made Its Point Freeing One HFT Code Thief. The Rest Can Rot In Jail.

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Samarth Agrawal once left a bank, but took its high-frequency trading code with him to show to a would-be employer. It occurred to him, moldering away in a prison cell—because he basically admitted everything on the witness stand at the end of his trial—awaiting his eventual deportation, that his story sounded an awful lot like that of Sergey Aleynikov, who also once left a bank with some high-frequency trading code on hand. And since the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals last year was so kind as to release Mr. Aleynikov (for now!) from prison on the grounds that a bank's policies are not the same as federal law, he thought they might like to do the same for him.

Unfortunately for Mr. Agrawal, the court was not feeling as generous this year.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Agrawal's contention that the theft did not qualify as a crime under the federal laws under which he was charged….

Agrawal had contended that his case was similar to that of former Goldman Sachs Group Inc programmer Sergey Aleynikov, whose federal conviction for stealing that bank's code was thrown out by the 2nd Circuit in February 2012.

Aleynikov was later charged with violating state law by the Manhattan district attorney's office.

Court upholds ex-SocGen trader's code theft conviction [Reuters]

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