Wall St. traders allegedly stole code, data with eye toward starting their own company

Manhattan District Attorney files suit against men who allegedly stole copies of electronic trading software

Talk about starting a business on shaky ground.  The Manhattan District Attorney's office says former Wall Street traders stole electronic trading source code and data from their then trading firm in an effort to start up their own financial business.

According to criminal complaints filed by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jason Vuu, a former trader at Flow Traders LLC in Manhattan, was charged with emailing himself trading strategies, valuation algorithms and proprietary code from the firm and sharing the code with another man, Simon Lu.

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Vuu, Lu and another former Flow Traders worker, Glen Cressman, all have been charged with unlawful duplication of computer-related material and unauthorized use of secret scientific material.

According to a Bloomberg report  Vuu, who resigned his post in March, sent e- mails to himself between August 2011 to August 2012, and he sometimes changed the file format of the attachments to make it difficult to recognize their contents, according to the complaint.

In addition, Reuters reported that the complaint said Vuu shared source code with Lu via the file-hosting service Dropbox after Lu suggested the code could help them start their own firm, according to the complaint. Cressman's personal email account received copied files containing trading strategies and valuation algorithms twice in December 2012, according to the complaint.

Bloomberg reported Jeremy Saland, a lawyer for Vuu, said of the case: "I'm confident that when the DA's office has completed their investigation they will find Flow Traders did not suffer any economic loss. Their algorithms and code weren't taken or used in any malicious way that damaged or compromised their financial security."

Reuters reported that Charles Ross, who represents Cressman, said his client was innocent. "He was a fine employee, and when everything about the case is aired, it will be clear he did nothing wrong."

The charges carry up to four years in prison.

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