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Cy Vance Gets His Man

Cy Vance Gets His Man

So much to smile about. By Saffie 55 (Saffie 55) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is a busy guy. He was certainly too busy to indict Donald Trump’s kids for fraud at a time when it might have actually kept Donald Trump from being elected president, or at the very least spared us Ivanka’s semantic musings. (He was not, of course, too busy to attend a fundraiser thrown by the Trump family’s lawyer after not indicting the Trumpkins.) He could not spare more than two weeks to investigate the alleged sexual assaults of Harvey Weinstein—which, when added up, probably would take more than two total weeks’ time to actually commit—before deciding a fortnight was more than enough dealing with matters Harvey Weinstein and the very generous-to-his-campaigns lawyers who represent him.

For Sergey Aleynikov, however, Cy Vance has apparently unlimited time. For almost six long years—of the eight that he’s been D.A., ever since a quirk in federal law allowed the former Goldman Sachs programmer to escape punishment (after 11 months in prison) for violating Lloyd’s Law by taking a few million lines of prop. trading code as a souvenir—Vance has pursued poor, bankrupt Aleynikov. While contemptuously dismissing a potential case against Weinstein as a mere “B misdemeanor,” Vance went to the trouble and taxpayer expense of sending his dogs to Albany to ensure that Aleynikov, who was arrested when he shouldn’t have been, and then convicted and cleared on federal charges, only to be convicted and then cleared on state charges, got and stayed uncleared on those charges even though Vance has absolutely no intention of sending Sergey and his dancing shoes back to prison, presumably because to do otherwise would make his constituent Goldman Sachs unhappy. Luckily for him, his appellate underlings are better at their jobs than their trial-court colleagues, and so Sergey Aleynikov may not be going back to jail, but he does remain a convicted felon.

The New York Court of Appeals rejected Aleynikov’s argument that the code was not “tangible,” and thus not covered by a state law criminalizing “unlawful use of secret scientific material.”

That conclusion is both obvious and maddening, the former because a flash drive is clearly a tangible object with real physical properties, and the latter because, poor Sergey Aleynikov! It is, however, after nearly a decade of this nonsense, a conclusion, and all of us, including Aleynikov, can go on with our lives now.

Just kidding. You didn’t think this would be as easy as determining who’s a real Goldman V.P. and who’s just the beneficiary of title inflation.

Marino said the decision left room for a new motion to overturn the conviction for unlawful use of secret scientific material. He cited grounds that the jury had been told that “tangible” could mean “capable of being understood by the mind,” and the appeals court did not adopt that definition. He said he was “confident” that motion would succeed.

Ex-Goldman Sachs programmer loses bid to overturn conviction [Reuters]

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