In an order dated April 20, 2017, New York’s Court of Appeals agreed to hear Sergey Aleynikov’s appeal of his conviction under an arcane New York criminal statute.
Aleynikov is a former Goldman Sachs computer programmer, arrested in July 2009 and accused of stealing computer source code from the bank. Originally, a federal jury found him guilty of violating both the National Stolen Property Act and the Economic Espionage Act, but that verdict was overturned by the Second Circuit in April 2012 (after Aleynikov had been incarcerated for over a year).
More recently, Aleynikov also has been prosecuted at the state level, as the Manhattan District Attorney secured a jury verdict convicting him of N.Y. Penal Law §165.07 (unlawful use of secret scientific material), which was overturned by the trial judge in 2015. Earlier this year, New York’s Appellate Division, First Department, reinstated the jury’s conviction of Aleynikov.
Given the prevalence and dangers of trade secret theft, Aleynikov’s case has drawn extensive media scrutiny over the years, and his appeal to New York’s highest court will be watched closely.