By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 13, 2017
If Goldman Sachs thinks this Russian computer genius is worthy of endless prosecution for the past eight years, despite two courts overturning their efforts, perhaps he’s just the man the Department of Homeland Security and FBI need to stop the Russian assault on the U.S. election system.
This morning Bloomberg News is reporting that in the leadup to the Presidential election of 2016, Russian hackers hit voting systems in a total of 39 states, confirming other reports that the U.S. public has not previously been made aware of the extent of Russian hacking into state voting systems.
In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, former FBI Director James Comey stated in regard to Russian interference in our elections that “They’re coming after America,” adding that “They will be back.”
This is where computer experts on Wall Street could help the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Wall Street technology experts know something that, apparently, our government doesn’t: Many of the smartest programmers and hackers in the world are from Russia. If you want to catch one, you’d better hire one.
Consider the case of Sergey Aleynikov. This Russian computer programmer was so brilliant and so good at his job that Goldman Sachs decided to unleash the hounds of hell on him for the past eight years after Aleynikov had the temerity to accept another job in 2009.
After Goldman Sachs convinced the FBI to go after Aleynikov for theft of computer code in 2009, he spent 51 weeks in prison before an appellate court unanimously threw out the charges against him. The court found the case against Aleynikov so unfounded that it ordered him released from prison immediately after oral arguments. The court’s written decision, handed down on April 11, 2012, found that the prosecutors had misapplied Federal corporate espionage laws.
The FBI then transferred their evidence to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, which proceeded to prosecute Aleynikov a second time. In that case, a jury found Aleynikov guilty of one count of taking “secret scientific material” from Goldman Sachs. The trial judge in that case overturned the conviction, finding that it was not warranted according to the statute. In January, an appellate panel of the New York State Supreme Court restored the earlier conviction. Aleynikov has appealed that decision to the State’s highest court.
Along the way, Aleynikov’s fearless attorney, Kevin Marino, sued the FBI, charging one of the FBI agents with “parroting representations made to him by Goldman Sachs representatives before a grand jury on February 11, 2010, without meaningfully investigating or testing the veracity of those representations and for the wholly improper purpose of achieving Goldman Sachs’s goal of procuring an indictment against Aleynikov and sending a message to its present and future employees about its ability to influence federal law enforcement authorities to bring criminal charges to further its private interests.”
Marino had this to say further about Goldman Sachs’ motives in the lawsuit:
“The unconstitutional malicious prosecution of Aleynikov was designed not to serve the interests of justice but to curry favor with an influential corporation intent on punishing one of its most talented officers who chose to leave the firm and, in the process, sending a message to other employees and prospective employees that Goldman Sachs is willing and able to use the American criminal justice system as its own private enforcement arm.”
In 2017, 2016 and 2015, Russian teams won the World Finals of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest. Russia has dominated this competition in many prior years as well, leaving the U.S. effectively in the dust.
The U.S. government can’t compete for computer talent with the mega Wall Street banks and hedge funds, which are gobbling up the best and the brightest among programmers, coders and developers. According to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon in his 2014 Letter to Shareholders, the company employees “nearly 30,000 programmers, application developers and information technology employees who keep our 7,200 applications, 32 data centers, 58,000 servers, 300,000 desk-tops and global network operating smoothly for all our clients.”
In 2013, JPMorgan executive Anish Bhimani was quoted in a Carnegie Mellon Information Networking Institute publication as follows: “People don’t realize it, but most large financial institutions are really technology organizations at heart,” he said. “Take JPMorgan Chase, for example. We have more software developers than Google, and more technologists than Microsoft…”
Since the public’s confidence in the U.S. voting system hangs in the balance, it would seem that the U.S. government’s only viable option is to hire Sergey Aleynikov and strike a deal with the New York McJustice system to call off the hounds of hell and let this father of three have his life back.