Citadel Programmer Pleads Guilty In Data Theft

Aug 8 2014 | 4:33am ET

A former Citadel Investment Group software engineer has pleaded guilty to stealing the hedge fund’s high-frequency trading code, as well as that of another firm.

Yihao Pu faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Nov. 7, as well as fines of up to $500,000. He had been set to face trial on Sept. 2.

Pu, who had faced 20 counts, appeared confused at yesterday’s hearing in Manhattan federal court, eventually telling the judge, “yes, I plead guilty,” and answering “yes” when asked if he knew what he was doing.

Citadel fired Pu in 2011 after just a year on the job, accusing him of downloading "massive amounts of highly confidential" data onto "at least two personal external devices." The hedge fund also accused Pu of lying about his activities, and of being in touch with Teza Technologies, a firm founded by several Citadel HFT veterans that the hedge fund has also accused of stealing its proprietary systems.

Another former Citadel employee charged alongside Pu, Sahil Uppal, is still set to face trial.


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