So, even if there IS a prosecution and a conviction, the bankers still get out of jail. Remember Sergey Aleynikov?
A federal appeals court reversed the conviction late Thursday of Sergey Aleynikov, a former Goldman Sachs programmer found guilty of stealing proprietary code from the bank’s high-frequency trading platform.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned the conviction and ordered the trial court to enter a judgment of acquittal. A judgment of acquittal generally bars the government from retrying a defendant.
This one’s over.
The opinion is not yet available; the reversal came just hours after oral orgument was heard.
It appears that the reversal turned on whether the code was intended for use “in interstate commerce”, which was the premise of the statute under which the government charged him.
If you remember at the time there were allegations that Goldman was able to read trade data before the trades executed, and speculation was that the code Sergey wrote might have been involved in that.
In any event the prosecution appeared to be a “directed attack” carried out by Goldman using their influence with the government.
But today, Sergey has had his conviction tossed in a fashion that pretty much precludes him from being retried, and as such it must be assumed that his felony record has been expunged and he is, and will remain, a free man.