Monday, November 22, 2010, 11/22/2010 10:36:00 AM

Ex-SocGen Trader Found Guilty of Trade Secret Theft

By Todd

BusinessWeek is reporting that former Societe Generale SA trader Samarth Agrawal was found guilty of stealing trade secrets related to the bank’s high-speed computer trading software.

A federal court jury in New York today delivered the verdict at the end of a two-week trial. U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff set Agrawal’s sentencing for Feb. 24.

Judge Rakoff said after the verdict that, for sentencing, he will consider that Agrawal admitted during the trial that he committed a theft of trade secrets.

“I think he may be entitled to some of acceptance of responsibility,” Rakoff said. Sentencing guidelines provide for a minimum prison term of three years and 10 months and a maximum of four years and nine months.

Agrawal testified, under questioning by his own lawyer, Ivan Fisher, that he shared information about Societe Generale’s trading software with a Manhattan hedge fund, Tower Research Capital LLC, where he hoped to create a similar system.

Judge Rakoff, who told lawyers he was “puzzled” by Agrawal’s self-incriminating testimony, said he assumed Fisher was using a “sympathy defense” on his client’s behalf.

Agrawal was convicted of theft of trade secrets and transporting stolen property in interstate commerce.

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