A programmer has been sentenced to six months house arrest after pleading guilty to stealing code from his former employer, the US Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Bo Zhang, a Chinese national, copied the code – which was used to track billions of dollars’ worth of federal banking transactions and cost nearly $10 million to develop – onto a portable hard drive while working as a contractor.
The theft came to light when he informed a colleague that he had lost the drive. However, the bank insists that the code has not passed into anyone else’s hands.
In August 2010, Zhang owned up to the theft, telling federal agents that he had stolen it "in order to ensure that it was available to him in the event that he lost his job".
"I just want to apologize to the government, the court, my previous employer, my clients for causing this mess," Mr. Zhang said in court.
Earlier in the trial, Zhang admitted falsifying immigration documents to help other foreign nationals gain work in the US
According to the Wall Street Journal, Zhang is likely to be deported after serving his sentence.