A Tale of two ex-Goldmanites

The much anticipated trial of “Fabulous” Fab Tourre turns out to be more about the indictment of his former employer and  their practices. Fab did failed to convince the jury that he did not defraud investors in the synthetic CDO Abacus 2007-AC-1. 

Perhaps a lesser know trial took place in Chicago with Sergey Aleynikov taking center stage. The reason I feature these two trials is because unlike Fab, Sergey seems to be a geek. The charges against him seem questionable at best. His former employer seemed to have sic’d FBI after Sergey decided to work for Teza (a HFT firm) and uploading code to a free svn repository. BTW, he has been uploading and emailing source code for a while even before the employment offer from Teza

The number of news articles coming up on Google news for Fabulous Fab is about 4660 (as of 14 Aug). Whereas Sergey scores a measly 78 (as of 14 Aug). Sergey, while highly comped at his former employer is portrayed a problem solver(see Michael Lewis’s article) and not someone who is motivated to steal company secret to profit from it. Teza offered him an opportunity to build a platform ground up whereas at his former employer, he was destined to keep the spaghetti from unraveling. 

Sergey does not deny he uploaded/emailed the source code. However, he did not take the strategies – this is the key to the case.

In the end neither walked away clean. It is absolutely painful to see a committed opensource developer and a very sharp mind convicted. I am not speaking about Fab here.


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