Former AllianceBernstein employee indicted on charges of unauthorized access and duplication of computer files

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., has announced the indictment of Peter Jan, 35, in connection with unauthorized access and duplication of computer files owned by AllianceBernstein Holding LP, a United States-based global investment firm.

Jan, a former employee of AllianceBernstein, is charged with Computer Trespass, Unlawful Duplication of Computer Related Materials, and Grand Larceny.

“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,” said District Attorney Vance. “Employees who take advantage of their access to sensitive information will face criminal prosecution for data theft.”

According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court, Jan was a FIX Application Support Specialist employed by the sell-side brokerage unit of AllianceBernstein. His job responsibilities included providing computer support relating to a program that received and sent “FIX” or “Financial Information eXchange” messages, a messaging standard used to communicate securities transactions electronically. On March 8, 2010, Jan gave notice of his intent to quit his job at AllianceBernstein. His resignation was to be effective on March 19, 2010.

On four dates before Jan’s resignation, according to documents filed in court, Jan used an external hard drive to download specialized computer software licensed to AllianceBernstein without permission or authority to do so. 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 clients, as well as computer data and files owned by AllianceBernstein. By taking the software, Jan was able to read the content of the FIX messages. On March 15, 2010, Jan was fired by AllianceBernstein.

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