Jury convicts ex-Goldman Sachs programmer of code theft, despite avocado tampering


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You have the right to be tried by a jury of people who aren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.


This is partly mitigated by two factors:
a) Those of us who are actually willing to participate and have a working brain.
b) Quite a few attorneys aren’t any brighter than the dumbest jury pool member.

Anyone who’s served on more than a couple of trials can attest that the worst-written courtroom drama on TV is better than an average trial attorney’s arguments (defense or prosecution). So, it’s just as good(/bad) as the rest of our democracy. :grimacing:


The book Flash Boys by Michael Lewis covers this case and it shows how wrong everything is when someone like Sergey is the only person who went to jail after the 2009 financial collapse. And from what Lewis writes, Aleynikov was guilty only of uploading code to another site or his home computer. Considering how many people really should be in jail, it is a joke.

Meanwhile the high frequency traders are just skimming off our savings, by front running, dark pools etc. and causing instability of the system with flash crashes etc.


Smart? I’ll be happy to serve when my turn comes. Democracy, you see.


Some context for you geeks: the prosecutors in this case produced this as evidence that he was up to something nefarious:

He uploaded code to a SUBVERSION server at his house.

Need I say more?


Overdressed for a flight on Southwest is still under-dressed for sentencing.


The picture is from three years ago. Probably right after he was arrested.

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Even then he’s dressed like he shopped in Rodney Dangerfield’s garbage.

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Dude, smart isn’t being incapable of being civil, it’s being unwilling to be civil. That’s banker level smarts right there that is.

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Jeez, spoiler alert please!

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I was going to post about Michael Lewis’s book, too.

This verdict makes me sad for Sergey and angry with a system that rewards more nefarious behavior by Wall Street.

He did nothing wrong except work for a corporation that is in cahoots with the SEC, the White House, and the Justice Dept., none of whom really understand technology let alone the concept of shareware. Goldman Sachs thinks anything it touches belongs to the corporation. But hey, corporations are people, right?


I think this case needed Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson, the best damn avocados in NYC.


In my experience, more than half of jury members are too stupid to keep all the constituent elements of the charge in mind at once, even when it is a single paragraph and written down for them - let alone keep track of what’s going on in the trial itself. I had one where the defendant was pretty obviously guilty, but 7 or 8 of the jury members basically wanted to jail him for being naked. Being naked on its own is thankfully not a crime - but I would recommend avoiding nudity in the UK, since the moment the jury hears the ‘n’ word you’re basically going down.


Actually being selected for a jury is financially disastrous. It means going without income for the duration of the trial.

I enjoyed my time on jury duty. 9 days, but only an alternate. I filled two booklets of notes. Kept hoping somebody would break a leg or get typhus or something.


You get paid for doing jury service.

Most companies do pay you during the duration of the service minus/plus the amount paid by the court.

If however you are in that situation you can be excused from service provided you have sufficient evident for financial difficulty. Any other legitimate excuse for not doing jury duty?

$15 per day.

They aren’t required to do so, and no company I’ve ever worked for did.

The last time I was summoned, I petitioned to be excused from jury duty, on the basis that it would present a financial hardship. The form to fill out for the petition consisted of part of a 3x5 card, and I had one four-inch-wide line to explain the details of the financial hardship.

My petition was rejected.


Not necessarily. I’ve worked hourly and I’ve worked straight commission, and you’re right in both cases. But salaried employees keep on getting paid. And if the trial lasted a very long time, I’m not sure but I think it’s illegal to fire them.

Last time I was summoned I was self-employed, and that’s all the excuse I needed.

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It truly is disgusting.

No one from the banks who knowingly made bad loans went to jail.

No one from the ratings agencies that rated collateralized mortgage securities (which contained the bad loans) went to jail.

No one from the financial institutions that marketed the collateralized mortgaged securities and simultaneously bet against them went to jail.