(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG sued its former vice president of emerging markets, Agostina Pechi, over claims she stole the banks trade secrets in a bid to win clients for her new employer, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
In February and March, Pechi secretly sent e-mails with client lists and other confidential bank information from her work account to her personal inbox, and printed critical transaction documents late at night from her office, when she was supposed to be on vacation, Credit Suisse said in a complaint filed today in state court in Manhattan.
Pechi, who made $950,000 last year and lives in New York, resigned from the Zurich-based bank on April 2, telling Credit Suisses human-resources department she was accepting a position at New York-based Goldman Sachs, according to the complaint.
Pechi decided to steal confidential Credit Suisse information and contacts that she had learned during the course of her employment for Credit Suisse, according to the complaint. She plans to use the data to compete with Credit Suisse, and intends to provide this information to her new employer to specifically target Credit Suisses clients.
A message left on a mobile phone listed for Pechi, seeking comment on the lawsuit, wasnt immediately returned. A call to Goldman Sachs, seeking to confirm her employment there, also wasnt returned.
Credit Suisse, the second-biggest Swiss bank, alleges Pechi started systematically taking secret bank data by at least Feb. 4, when she e-mailed highly confidential deal-structuring documents related to a sensitive deal with a client.
Around March 19, Pechi allegedly sent an e-mail to herself containing databases that she had helped build with the banks emerging markets team. Shes also accused of sending her client list from Credit Suisse, as well as client lists that she didnt personally cover and other important contacts in the emerging markets space, according to the complaint.
There is no question that the databases that Pechi mailed to herself were and are the property of Credit Suisse, developed by Credit Suisse using its own resources, the bank said in the complaint.
Credit Suisse also claims Pechi deliberately obscured the status of deals with a critical client and in one case, told the bank the client had a flagging interest in current and future business while meeting with them on her own.
Pechi held these in-person meetings in an effort to shore up her relationship with the client in preparation for her departure, and to explicitly discuss moving its business to Pechis new firm, according to Credit Suisses complaint. Based upon Pechis representations, senior Credit Suisse employees did not meet with the client.
The Swiss bank claims that after Pechi resigned, she cooperated with a probe into her activities, including allowing Credit Suisses third-party investigators to search some of her personal effects at her home on April 12, and granting them access to her personal e-mail and work BlackBerry.
When about 60 bank e-mails were located in her personal account, she agreed to let investigators review them the next day, and then allegedly deleted them before they had a chance, Credit Suisse claims.
Less than 24 hours later, the e-mails had been deleted from Pechis personal e-mail account and could not be recovered, despite the fact that Pechi was aware that Credit Suisses investigators had returned solely to extract these 60 emails, the bank said.