Ex-Goldman Sachs Worker Nabbed for Stealing Secret Code

A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. computer programmer who quit last month was arrested and charged with stealing codes related to a high-speed trading program that he helped develop.

The programmer, Sergey Aleynikov, 39 years old, was arrested Friday by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents as he got off a plane at Newark Liberty International Airport.

According to a complaint filed Saturday, Mr. Aleynikov downloaded 32 megabytes of data from Goldman's computer system with "the intent to convert that trade secret to the economic benefit of someone other than the owner."

Goldman isn't named in a document filed with a U.S. magistrate judge in New York that describes the alleged scheme.

People familiar with the situation confirmed Monday that Mr. Aleynikov worked as one of hundreds of Goldman programmers on a program that examines available market prices and other factors aimed at getting the best price on trades.

According to a person familiar with the matter, the specific program that Mr. Aleynikov worked on was used primarily by Goldman's principal traders, who take risks with the New York company's capital because they buy securities from clients that may end up on the Goldman balance sheet.

According to the FBI, Mr. Aleynikov got a job offer earlier this year at an unnamed Chicago firm that planned to triple the $400,000-a-year salary he was paid at Goldman.

The unnamed company is "new" and "intended to engage in high-volume automated trading," the FBI said in the court filing.

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