Cambridge graduate jailed after breaching court order concerning stolen trade secrets

20 January 2017

James Lewis QC, James Hines QC and Rachel Scott acted for Trenchant Ltd as private prosecutors in this case brought against Mr Ke Xu.

Southwark Crown Court passed a sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment on Mr Xu for twice breaching a Serious Crime Prevention Order passed eighteen months earlier.

The defendant had originally pleaded guilty to hacking into Trenchant’s computer systems and reverse-engineering their highly valuable intellectual property, comprising algorithms for use in automated trading on the stock markets.

The original trial saw him sentenced to four years’ imprisonment and made the subject of the SCPO (to protect Trenchant Ltd against further harm).

Mr Xu was ordered to deliver up his computers for inspection, to return all copies of stolen trade secrets and to make a number of disclosures to assist in their recovery. He made no delivery up and no disclosure under the terms of the order, asserting that he had taken no copies and that all his computers had been passed to his parents in China and were lost or destroyed. The jury convicted Mr Xu of failing to make the required disclosures, rejecting his claims that his hacking attack had stopped short of copying and carrying away.

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