A lawyer for former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. programmer Sergey Aleynikov, accused of taking the firm’s software code on his last day of work, asked for a mistrial after two jurors in the case expressed concerns about their ability to continue deliberating.
Aleynikov’s attorney, Kevin Marino, said he asked New York State Supreme Court Justice Daniel Conviser for the mistrial Tuesday in a closed session of the court. Jurors had expressed concerns about their ability to continue amidst allegations of food tampering and threats about going to the authorities over positions taken during deliberations in Manhattan, he said.
“The only choice in this case is a mistrial,” Marino told the judge after the courtroom was reopened. “You have a juror essentially admitting on the record to very bizarre and unusual conduct.”
According to Conviser, the two jurors said they were unsure about their ability to be fair and impartial yet still were willing to continue deliberations in good faith. The judge sent the jury home for the night and said he will talk to the jurors in the morning and rule on the motion, which prosecutors oppose.
“I don’t think anything’s lost by giving the jurors overnight to see where they are,” Conviser said.
Jurors have been deliberating since April 22 in the case of Aleynikov, 45, who is charged with taking the firm’s high-frequency trading code on his last day of work in 2009. He left for a new job with Teza Technologies LLC, the firm founded by former Citadel Investment Group LLC high-frequency trading chief Misha Malyshev.
FBI agents arrested Aleynikov at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey in July 2009 as he returned from Chicago. He was convicted by a federal jury in 2010 and sentenced to eight years in prison.
In 2012, his conviction was reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York, which said his actions didn’t violate the federal law under which he was charged. He was charged by the Manhattan District Attorney six months later.
The case is New York v. Aleynikov, 04447-2012, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).