Friday, November 19, 2010, 11/19/2010 09:42:00 AM

More Testimony from Societe Generale Trade Secrets Trial

By Todd

We're practicing law at the same time we're trying to find information for you regarding this fascinating criminal trial of Samarth Agrawal in Manhattan. Thanks to FINalternatives we've found some more reported testimony from the trial to give you a better feel for how the explosive admissions from Mr. Agrawal came about in the courtroom. Read below FINalternatives accounting of the same:


Testifying in his own defense, Agrawal first said that he printed out the code to study it, on orders from his managers at SocGen.

“It was one of my responsibilities to know the code,” the 27-year-old said. “I printed it out so I could study at home.”

Agrawal also testified that his supervisor told him it would be “better that I work at home.” The trader said he was forced to work longer hours and on weekends after several departures from the high-frequency trading team, but that working on weekends had become a “red flag” at the firm, believed to be an allusion to the Jérôme Kerviel case.

Kerviel, a French trader at SocGen, lost the bank nearly €5 billion on unauthorized trades. Rakoff refused to allow discussion of the events that led to the encouragement to work from home.

But Agrawal then testified that he took the code so he could replicate it at Tower.

“I did it because I had to build the similar system at Tower,” Agrawal said. “I did it because I wanted the job.”

“It made certain things easier. I had to make some steps of trading, instead of making it from my mind,” he added.

Asked—by his own lawyer—if he knew that the code was proprietary to SocGen, and if he knew that taking it was wrong, Agrawal answered “yes” twice.


Judge Rakoff called the case a "curious" one and we admit to being confused too. Was this the defense strategy all along - to argue that Mr. Agrawal never stole trade secrets and take the jury on a wild goose chase only later to admit that he did exactly what the government accused him of? Now, we're not criminal defense attorneys - but that can get you in some hot water with the judge in your case where we come from.


More as we find out what Mr. Agrawal's attorney argues in his closing. We wouldn't be surprised to learn that he is flip-flopping again and saying there was no trade secrets theft despite Mr. Agrawal's admissions. Stay tuned.

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