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Former Goldman Programmer Charged with Code Theft

An ex-Goldman Sachs programmer was charged for stealing propriety computer codes used to support his former employer's high-frequency trading (HFT) system, the Manhattan US Attorney said Thursday.

Sergey Aleynikov, 40, is being held on three counts—theft of trade secrets, cross-border transport of stolen property, and unauthorized comupter access. If convicted of all three, he faces up to 25 years in prision.

According to court files, Aleynikov secretly tranferred "substantial portions" of the HFT code to external servers and personal computers upon resiging from Goldman in April 2009.

Goldman attributes millions of dollars of its annual profits to those propriety codes. Also in April, Aleynikov accepted a position at Teza Technologies to program a similar trading platform.

Aleynikov was arrested on July 3, 2009, after landing in Newark Airport from a meeting with Teza in Chicago.

"We are disappointed that the government chose to pursue criminal prosecution and hope he is vindicated by a jury," Aleynikov's attorney told CNBC.

Goldman declined comment.