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Ex-AllianceBernstein Employee to Plead Guilty, Lawyer Says

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- A former AllianceBernstein Holding LP employee accused of stealing software from the fund manager will plead guilty to computer trespass, his lawyer said.

Peter Jan, 35, who was an application support specialist at the investment-management company, was accused in April of stealing software used to send and receive messages related to clients’ securities transactions and charged with computer trespass, grand larceny and unlawful duplication of computer-related materials.

He will plead guilty tomorrow to one count of felony computer trespass as part of a deal with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office, said one of Jan’s attorneys, Jeremy Saland. Vance’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jan will be able to withdraw his plea to the felony count and plead instead to a misdemeanor charge of attempted criminal trespass if he completes 100 hours of community service and stays out of trouble, Saland said. As a result, Jan will face no jail time and no probation, Saland said.

“Unfortunately, AllianceBernstein, as an institution, was upset that it believed its proprietary and client information was compromised and potentially utilized by Mr. Jan,” Saland said. “In fact, it was not. This deal, which will not result in a felony conviction, accurately reflects that despite AllianceBernstein’s beliefs, prosecutors thoroughly investigated the case and ultimately agreed with our assertion.”

Gave Notice

John Meyers, a spokesman for AllianceBernstein, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the plea agreement.

Prosecutors said Jan gave notice to New York-based AllianceBernstein on March 8, 2010, and was supposed to leave the company 11 days later. On four occasions, prosecutors said, he downloaded software used by the company for FIX messages, a financial information exchange standard. Jan was fired on March 15, 2010.

Jan is admitting to unauthorized use of a computer and isn’t pleading to any theft “in any way,” Saland said.

A felony conviction carrying as much as four years in prison would “certainly preclude him from many career paths,” Saland said.

The case is People vs. Jan, 01784/2011, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in New York at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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