Not picking up the tab.
Bloomberg News reports that Delaware Chancery Court Judge Travis Laster Wednesday rejected Sergey Aleynikov’s claims the vice president’s title made him a corporate officer and entitled him to coverage for legal costs under the company’s bylaws. Aleynikov’s demand that the bank pick up the tab for fees tied to theft charges over the code wasn’t legitimate, Laster concluded.
Aleynikov may now have to pay his own fees stemming from criminal charges and lawsuits in New Jersey over the trading codes, estimated to total about $7m, including about $550,000 at issue in Delaware. Aleynikov’s federal theft conviction was overturned in 2012. Three years later, a judge threw out state-court charges that he pilfered the bank’s intellectual property. Prosecutors are appealing.
The programmer failed to prove that an employee who held “the bare title of vice president,” but didn’t have any managerial responsibilities, “qualified as an officer for the purposes” of recouping legal fees, Laster concluded in a 17-page ruling.
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