Although ex-programmer Yihao Pu's lawyer argued that her client was "guilty only of being an immature young man," ripped Citadel off for a mere $2,000, and really didn't need to do jail time, a judge saw things differently, on all counts.
Yihao “Ben” Pu, who was charged in 2011, pleaded guilty in August to stealing proprietary information from Citadel in 2011 and to an earlier theft of trade secrets from Red Bank, New Jersey-based Tradeworx Inc. Pu, 27, apologized to both companies as U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle in Chicago handed down the punishment today. He told the judge the thefts were “the most regrettable actions” of his life. “I’ve paid a price for this case, personally, professionally, financially,” Pu said.
Citadel, founded by billionaire Kenneth C. Griffin, manages more than $24 billion, according to its website. Pu worked for the firm as a quantitative financial engineer from May 2010 to August 2011. Prosecutors sought a sentence from seven years and three months to nine years, citing the loss to the two firms. Citadel said in a letter to Norgle that the firm had spent more than $10 million on research and development of its stolen data. Pu’s lawyers said the companies lost no more than $2,000. Norgle concluded that the loss was around $12 million total.
Ex-Citadel Employee Gets Three Years for Data Theft [Bloomberg]
Computer whiz gets 3 years for stealing from Illinois' richest man [Chicago Sun Times]