Revealed: Russian computer whizz in Goldman Sachs trading storm started his career as a trainspotter

Sergey Aleynikov, the Russian-born computer developer charged with stealing precious Goldman Sachs‘ trading codes, started his career at the Ministry for Transportation in Moscow as a trainspotter.

Aleynikov, a naturalised US citizen who emigrated from Russia in 1991, allegedly unlawfully copied, duplicated, downloaded and transferred computer codes from Goldman Sachs and uploaded the codes to a computer server in Germany.

The case has caused a firestorm on Wall Street in the US by throwing a spotlight on the highly prized trading systems created by Goldman Sachs  to gain an edge on rivals in the financial markets. can reveal that Aleynikov started out as an applied mathematics student at the Moscow Institute of Transportation Engineering in 1987. As part of his internship, he worked for the Railway Consolidated Computer centre for three years in a venture sponsored by the Russian Ministry for Transportation.

In  Aleynikov’s entry on the  networking site LinkedIN, he describes the work as involving “optimizing train schedules based on known passenger transportation demand, train capacity, transportation costs, and other parameters with a goal of minimizing the number of trains required to serve geographic areas.”

Before finishing his degree in Moscow, Aleynikov transferred to the US where he finished his studies at the University of New Jersey- New Brunswick.

Goldman divulged little about the trading programs, though court documents related to the case said the code that Aleynikov was suspected of stealing allowed the bank to “engage in sophisticated high-speed and high-volume trades on various stock and commodities markets.”

The software generated “many millions of dollars of profits per year” for the bank, the documents said.

Aleynikov resigned to take a job with a new company “that intended to engage in high-volume automated trading,” for triple his $400,000 salary, according to the complaint.

Aleynikov, who was reported yesterday to  have met terms for his $750,000 bail, counts ballroom dancing (see his moves below on YouTube), along with functional programming and concurrent programming, as his three interests.

Once a trainspotter, always…

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