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Accused High Frequency Trading Programmer Is A Ballroom Dancer

The case sheds light on the secret world of high frequency trading, but also attests to the security precautions taken by investment banks.

Serge Aleynikov, who was arrested and charged with stealing Goldman Sachs'source code for high frequency trading software, was a competitive ballroom dancer.While is not exactly "Dancing With the Stars," a video of Aleynikov and his wife Elina dancing has been circulating courtesy of YouTube, and is also posted on AmsterdamTrader. Aleynikov, 39, was earning $400,000 a year at Goldman Sachs, where he was responsible for the development of a distributed real-time co-located high-frequency trading platform, according to his LinkedIn profile.

But the strange thing is that even though Aleynikov was a software expert, (his credentials are impressive - Read Linkedin profile), the mistake he made was downloading so much source code to his home computer since his programming commands were recorded by Goldman's back-up systems, as reported by The New York Times (see below). The bank also noticed the surge in data moving from its servers.

This is what happened according to New York Times DealBook: "...just before he left (Goldman Sachs), according to the complaint, Mr. Aleynikov used his desktop computer at Goldman's New York offices to upload a stream of code to a Web site hosted by a server based in Germany. Later, he downloaded the files again to his home computer, his laptop computer and to a memory device."

The case sheds light on the secret world of high frequency trading, but also attests to the security precautions taken by investment banks. Meanwhile, ZeroHedge points out that Aleynikov was arrested the day after he joined Teza Technologies, co-founded by Misha Malyshev, a former head of high-frequency trading at hedge fund Citadel Investment Group LLC. (Teza was reportedly paying hin $1.4 million.) Aleynikov was suspended without pay and Teza is cooperating with the investigation, according to a Teza spokesman's statement, which also said the firm was not aware of alleged misconduct.The case sheds light on the secret world of high frequency trading, but also attests to the security precautions taken by investment banks. Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in the capital markets. As an industry expert, Ivy has reported on a myriad ... View Full Bio

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