Citadel Securities has dragged two former employees, Leonard Lancia and Alex Casimo, to court, for allegedly stealing its trade secrets and using them to operate their own crypto-focused market-making company.
Citadel Securities, a Miami-based capital markets firm, has filed a lawsuit against its former employees, Leonard Lancia and Alex Casimo, for allegedly stealing its trade secrets and using them to run their own crypto-based market-making firm.
According to sources, Citadel Securities claims the duo used the proprietary information at their disposal while working at the firm to raise capital and launch their high-frequency crypto trading company, Portofino Technologies.
According to a complaint filed at a New York state court, Citadel alleges that in addition to stealing its trade secrets, the accused pair lied to their colleagues at the firm and “raided the ranks of Citadel Securities employees.”
Portofino denies Citadel’s claims
Portofino Technologies, which claims to be focused on building financial infrastructure technology to power crypto adoption, has refuted Citadel’s claims, describing it as unmeritorious, anti-competitive.
According to data available on Crunchbase, Portofino Technologies, a Zug, Switzerland-based web3 company, raised $50 million in funding from Coatue and two other investors in Sept. 2022.
However, Citadel Securities alleges in its lawsuit that it discovered a pitch deck and messages related to Portofino’s fundraising efforts during an internal investigation several months before Lancia and Casimo filed their resignation.
Citadel Securities is seeking monetary damages and possible restitution through the lawsuit.