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Credit Suisse says ex-VP stole trade secrets in move to Goldman

By Terry Baynes

(Reuters) - Credit Suisse Group AG sued the former vice president of its emerging markets group on Friday, claiming she stole confidential documents and trade secrets to transfer business to her new employer, Goldman Sachs Group Inc .

In a complaint filed in Manhattan state court, Credit Suisse said Agostina Pechi sent confidential and highly sensitive company documents to her personal email account in the months leading up to her resignation, including databases, client contact information and sales team targets.

The Swiss bank also accused her of conducting an "after-hours document raid" when she was scheduled to be on vacation in which she allegedly copied transaction documents related to a longtime Credit Suisse client.

After Pechi resigned on April 2 and told the human resources department she was accepting a new position with rival Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse launched an investigation into her departure and found 60 work emails in her personal account, according to the filing. The next day, those emails had been deleted and could not be recovered, the complaint said.

"Upon information and belief, Pechi intends to use confidential Credit Suisse information to compete with Credit Suisse, and intends to provide this information to her new employer to specifically target Credit Suisse's clients," the complaint said.

Michael DuVally, a Goldman Sachs spokesman, declined to comment. A lawyer for Pechi could not immediately be located.

Credit Suisse is seeking a temporary restraining order, barring Pechi for 30 days from seeking business from the company's clients. In addition, it asked the court to order Pechi to return all confidential Credit Suisse information and trade secrets.

Under her employment agreement, Pechi agreed to resolve any employment-related disputes in arbitration. In its court filing, Credit Suisse said it would pursue expedited mediation, and, if that fails, arbitration. But a court order was needed to prevent Credit Suisse from being harmed in the interim, the company said.

The case is Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC v. Pechi, New York Supreme Court, No. 651617-2013.

(Reporting by Terry Baynes in New York; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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