An investment genius who stole his employer’s valuable trade secrets has refused to surrender them so he can become ‘a very rich man’ in China after his release, a court heard.
Ke Xu, 32, hacked into Trenchant Trading Systems Private Ltd’s computer systems and accessed secret algorithm codes worth millions of dollars on the stock market in 2014.
Xu had become disillusioned after landing a £400,000 bonus on top of his £85,000 salary from the company in 2013 because he believed he should have been paid more than £1,000,000.
He resigned abruptly in August 2014 and flew to Hong Kong after stealing the codes and touting himself to head hunters in the financial sector.
The former Goldman Sachs worker was arrested before he could start a new job in Hong Kong and extradited back to the UK in December 2014.
Xu was jailed for four years in July 2015 after admitting fraud by abuse of position.
Southwark Crown Court heard he has since ‘deliberately disobeyed the court’s order’ to return his copies of the codes and computer equipment.
James Lewis QC said: ‘On the 3 July 2015 Mr Xu, the defendant, at this court admitted dishonestly accessing and analysing his employer’s trade secrets.
‘In this case they were trading strategies and he did so with a view to making himself a very rich man by taking those secret strategies to rival firms.
‘He was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment, but in addition to the prison sentence this court ordered him to cooperate with the police in the return of those trading strategies and the computers he used to access his employer’s systems.
‘He hasn’t done so.’
Xu, who denies five counts of failure to comply with a Serious Crime Prevention Order, claims he never took copies of the codes and said he handed his computer equipment to his family.
The Cambridge maths graduate says the equipment was lost when his parents’ home was burgled in China. Xu gained a first in maths at Cambridge and has worked as a quantitative analyst writing trading strategies for financial institutions including Goldman Sachs.
‘Mr Xu has tried to hang onto those secret trading strategies so they are there for him when he is released from prison and returns to China,’ said Mr Lewis.
‘Mr Xu was ordered to tell the police where the copies of Trenchant’s trade secrets he made were and to hand those copies back and also to hand over the related computer equipment.’
He continued: ‘Mr Xu has completely failed to comply with the order. He says he can’t hand back copies of the trading strategies because he never took copies.
‘As for the computer equipment, he says he no longer has it, claiming he handed it to family members in China.’
Mr Lewis told jurors they will have to decide upon two issues: ‘Did Mr Xu keep any copies of the company’s secrets, namely those trading strategies in the form of computer code?
‘And secondly, does he have a reasonable excuse for not surrendering to the police the computer equipment he had used to access the company’s code?’
The defendant, currently a serving prisoner at HMP Maidstone, denies five counts of failure to comply with a Serious Crime Prevention Order.
The trial continues..
Source Courtesy: Court News Service
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