Thursday, November 18, 2010, 11/18/2010 02:28:00 PM

Societe Generale Trade Secret Thief Admits Guilt During Trial - Judge Characterizes Admissions as "Sympathy Defense"

By Todd

We've been blogging about the ongoing criminal trial of Samarth Agrawal for a good while: http://wombletradesecrets.blogspot.com/2010/11/societe-generale-trade-secrets-trial.html.

And we wondered - if the potential new employer of the Defendant is going to testify that he showed THEM a version of what he had copied from Societe Generale in terms of active high-frequency trading code, then what is the defense? Seemed to us that the only defense is that the code was not a trade secret - but wasn't that claim somewhat betrayed by the fact he was showing it to the potential new employer as something of value that he could bring to their place of business?


Well - all has been revealed. Mr. Agrawal yesterday admitted under questioning from his own attorney that he DID steal the code and he DID show it to the potential new employer and that he DID know it was wrong. Folks - this is game/set/match. And it must've been his counsel's strategy because the testimony of the new employer was going to sink him anyway.


According to Reuters, Judge Rakoff commented "Frankly, I'm puzzled by the present situation, because the defendant has admitted all essential elements of at least the first count of the indictment and probably the second count." Later Judge Rakoff is alleged to have concluded "One is driven to the inference of what is really going on here is a sympathy defense and, indeed, one would feel hard pressed not feel sympathy for this defendant."


We will report back on the verdict and scheduling for sentencing. It should be interesting to see if this recent spate of cases in which the government seeks a deportation order with no right of return to the U.S. will be part of the sentence sought. We admit to not knowing whether Mr. Agrawal is a United States' citizen. More soon. This is a major league development in this case.

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