A former AllianceBernstein employee has been charged with stealing software used to send and receive FIX messages from the investment firm.
Peter Jan worked at the company's sell-side brokerage unit as a FIX application support specialist, providing computer help related to the messaging standard.
Last March Jan handed in his notice but, according to documents filed in court in New York, four days before he quit the defendant used an external hard drive to download specialised computer software licensed to AllianceBernstein.
The software was used by the company to send and receive FIX messages that contained data regarding the identities of AllianceBernstein clients and transactions conducted by them, as well as information and files owned by the company. By taking the software, Jan was able to read the content of the messages.
Jan's actions were uncovered and he was fired. He has now been charged with computer trespass, unlawful duplication of computer related materials, and grand larceny.
District Attorney Cyrus Vance says: "The defendant, who was leaving his job and moving to a new firm, saw and took an opportunity to steal AllianceBernstein's software and thereby violate New York State law. Employees who take advantage of their access to sensitive information will face criminal prosecution for data theft."