Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 11/10/2010 01:48:00 AM

Opening Statements in Societe Generale Trade Secrets Trial: Prosecution Says Potential New Employer Will Testify

By Todd

Bloomberg is reporting that opening statements have been made in the trade secrets theft trial of former Societe Generale employee Samarth Agrawal.

"You will see that Samarth Agrawal was a thief,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas G.A. Brown said in his opening statement today. “He didn’t steal cash or gold or diamonds. He stole something much more valuable. He stole a powerful way to make millions of dollars on the stock market.”

Brown told jurors they would see a surveillance video showing Agrawal, 27, printing hundreds of pages of computer code at the same time he was planning on leaving Societe Generale to set up a similar computer trading system with a Manhattan hedge fund, Tower Research Capital LLC.
Agrawal, who was denied bail in the case after his April 19 arrest, is charged with theft of trade secrets. He faces as much as 10 years in prison if convicted.

“Mr. Agrawal is not guilty,” his lawyer, Ivan Fisher, said in his opening statement. “He stole nothing.”

Fisher said Agrawal was working on the code at home as part of his job. Fisher said his client will testify. He will also present testimony from five people who have known Agrawal for years, Fisher said.

In addition to the surveillance video, Brown said he will play for jurors tapes of conversations between Agrawal and Tower Research partners.

Prosecution witnesses will include Tower Research partners and programmers, Agrawal’s former Societe Generale supervisor, the federal agent who found the computer code in a search of Agrawal’s New Jersey apartment and an expert in high-frequency trading.

NOTE: It sounds like Tower Research has turned state's evidence and is giving testimony supporting the government's theory that Agrawal intended to use the stolen code to help them do high frequency trading. We'll see - but, if true, that's not good for Mr. Agrawal. More as reports continue . . . .


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