U.S. Urges Closed Trial for Ex-Goldman Sachs Programmer to Protect Secrets

The trial of a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. computer programmer should be held in part behind closed doors to protect the securities firm’s trade secrets, prosecutors said.

The government will introduce evidence at the trial, which is scheduled to start Nov. 29, to show that information Sergey Aleynikov is accused of stealing were Goldman Sachs trade secrets, prosecutors said in a filing yesterday in federal court in Manhattan. Aleynikov’s defense will try to show the information wasn’t secret, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Denise Cote to close the courtroom to the public when this evidence is presented. They also asked that trial exhibits “describing or containing” Goldman Sachs’s trade secrets shouldn’t be made publicly available, so that both sides can present their evidence without compromising any of the firm’s proprietary information.

Aleynikov, who worked as a programmer at Goldman Sachs from May 2007 through June of 2009, is accused of copying hundreds of thousands of lines of computer source code related to the firm’s high-frequency trading business on his last day of work. Aleynikov told federal investigators that he intended only to copy “open source” code not owned by Goldman Sachs, according to the prosecutors’ court filing.

Aleynikov’s lawyer, Kevin Marino, declined to comment.

The case is U.S. v. Aleynikov, 10-00096, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net.

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