Ex-Societe Generale Trader Agrawal Wins Trial Delay to Show New Evidence

Former Societe Generale trader Samarth Agrawal, accused of stealing the company’s computer code for high-frequency trading, was granted a delay of his trial after his lawyer said he has evidence which could exonerate him.

Agrawal, arrested in April, was charged by federal prosecutors in with theft of trade secrets. The government said Agrawal made copies of one part of the code he’d been given access to and another part he wasn’t allowed have.

Agrawal’s lawyer, Ivan Fisher, told U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan today that he needed a delay in the trial so he could show prosecutors evidence that he said would clear his client. Koeltl agreed to reschedule the trial, now set for Oct. 4, to Nov. 8.

“I think it may be possible to persuade the government that an error has been made here, a very unfortunate one,” Fisher told Koeltl. “I think it can be rectified and that’s why we’re requesting an adjournment of the trial.”

Fisher told Koeltl the evidence includes polygraph tests of Agrawal, and transcripts of taped conversations his client had with another firm where he had hoped to work before his arrest. Fisher said his client also would meet for a proffer session with prosecutors to tell them what he knew about the events.

Agrawal was hired by Societe Generale in New York in March 2007 to work as a quantitative analyst in the high-frequency trading group, and promoted to trader in April 2009, according to the complaint against him. Before he resigned in November, he deleted a computer folder on his personal network drive that contained the code, prosecutors said.

“I can adjourn the case,” Koeltl said. “The continuance is designed to allow the parties to discuss the status of the case.”

The case is U.S. v. Agrawal, 10-CR-417, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Patricia Hurtado in New York at pathurtado@bloomberg.net

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