Futures Trader Charged by U.S. With Stealing Firm Secrets

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Futures trader David Newman was indicted by a U.S. grand jury for allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of computer files from his former firm, only to quit days after getting his annual bonus.

Newman, 32, worked at WH Trading LLC, his lawyer, Thomas Leinenweber, said in a telephone interview. According to an indictment returned yesterday in Chicago, Newman secretly downloaded from the firm more than 400,000 files containing computer source code and programs. The indictment doesn’t name the firm.

Newman, who lives in Chicago, faces three counts of theft of trade secrets, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, according to a statement by Chicago U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon.

“We think he’s going to be completely vindicated at trial and that he did nothing wrong,” Leinenweber said.

Craig Bewick, the general manager for the Chicago-based WH Trading, didn’t immediately respond to voice-mail and e-mail messages seeking comment on the indictment.

According to the indictment, Newman joined his firm as a trading clerk in 2004. In November 2013, he established a stand-alone business called NTF LLC, and in February he signed an agreement with Chicago-based CME Group Inc. for access to its trading platforms. CME is the operator of the world’s largest futures market and runs the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade.

Newman used a flash drive to download the stolen data, according to the indictment. He allegedly took other pricing data in October 2013.

On its website, Chicago-based WH Trading says it develops “next generation trading tools for the global electronic markets.”

No date has been set for Newman’s court arraignment.

The case is U.S. v. Newman, 14-cr-704, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).