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Ex Employees and Confidential Information

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Sergey Aleynikov, a former Goldman Sachs programmer, was charged for computer theft crimes under New York state law on Thursday. Mr Aleynikov was accused of stealing highly confidential information from his ex-employer.

This came after Mr Aleynikov’s federal charge on the same facts was overturned in April earlier this year. The federal court of appeal found the charges did not fall within the wording of the federal computer theft legislation due to the intangible nature of software code, nor could it fit within the corporate espionage legislation as the code was not intended to be sold or licensed.

Mr Aleynikov is now facing criminal charges of unlawful use of secret scientific material and duplication of computer-related material under New York state law.

It is interesting that in America criminal charges have been laid against ex-employees who steal confidential information from their employer to use for a personal or business advantage.

While Aherns Lawyers have been involved in many cases where civil action has been taken by employers against ex-employees, there have not been any cases in Australia, unlike in the United States, where criminal charges have been laid against an employee.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

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