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Bank of America accuses former programmer of trade secrets theft

A former Bank of America employee allegedly sent sensitive bank data to his personal email before being laid off last month.

A former Bank of America Corp. programmer allegedly stole trade secrets from the bank's databases before he was laid off last month.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Bank of America accuses Rao V. Chalasani of stealing propriety information from the bank's databases with the intent of harming the bank's business and reputation.

Chalasani, of Short Hills, N.J., worked as a computer programmer in Bank of America's global markets portfolio management group in New York. According to the lawsuit, on Sept. 20 he sent an email from his corporate address to his personal email account with 21 documents.

The files attached to the email contained confidential and proprietary information about the bank, including profit and loss figures for its different businesses, its current trading positions in several securities, and the company's assessment of risk, the bank said.

On Sept. 21, Bank of America told its employees it was eliminating 400 positions as part of a workforce reduction. The next day, Chalasani was told his position was among those being cut but he was being considered for another job at a different department of the bank.

Bank of America said it discovered the defendant's email, which had the subject line "new home info," in its regular review of large email attachments sent by employees outside the company.

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