Three indicted in alleged source code theft from trading house

Manhattan's prosecutor says his office is focusing on intellectual property theft

By , IDG News Service |  IT Management

Two former traders and a third man have been indicted in New York State Supreme Court for allegedly stealing source code and trading strategy files from a brokerage company with headquarters in the Netherlands.

The case represents a new focus by prosecutors on intellectual property theft, according to a news release from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance's office Monday. Under New York state law, stealing office toner is a more serious offense than stealing computer source code, the statement said.

Two of the men, Jason Vuu and Glen Cressman, both 26, worked for the Manhattan office of the company Flow Traders, which develops its own software for trading on various markets. They resigned from the company in March.

Between August 2011 and August 2012, Vuu is accused of emailing himself trading strategies used on several of Flow Trader's trading desk and code contained in the company's proprietary trading platform, the statement said.

Vuu, of San Jose, California, then allegedly began working with a college friend, 25-year-old Simon Lu, on a trading platform for a company they intended to found. Cressman, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is accused of emailing himself proprietary trading strategies twice in December 2012.

Searches of the men's residences turned up "several electronic devices capable of being used to share stolen code," according to the release.

The three men are charged with varying counts of two felonies: unlawful duplication of computer related material and unlawful use of secret scientific material.

Those are the same charges levied against former Goldman Sachs software developer Sergey Aleynikov, who is awaiting prosecution by Vance's office.

Aleynikov successfully appealed a federal conviction in April 2012. But Vance's office charged him in New York County Court under different laws, which did not violate the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment which prohibits being tried twice for the same crime.

Aleynikov maintains he only copied open-source code. A lengthy profile published last month in Vanity Fair characterized Aleynikov as a brilliant programmer who had little interest in money.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

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