NEW YORK — Bank of America Corp. sued a former computer programmer, claiming he emailed himself confidential bank computer files shortly before he found out he might be laid off.

Rao Chalasani, of Short Hills, N.J., allegedly sent 21 confidential computer files to his personal email account the night before the company announced last month that it was eliminating 400 jobs, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan.

The files included information on profit and loss figures for different lines of business, current trading positions in various securities and the bank's assessment of risk, the lawsuit said.

"The disclosure of this material, confidential non-public information and trade secrets will cause irreparable harm to Bank of America's business and provide its competitors considerable unfair advantage in the marketplace," the lawsuit said.

Mr. Chalasani was employed by Banc of America Securities as a computer programmer in the company's Global Markets Portfolio Management Group in New York, the lawsuit said. He allegedly sent the computer files to himself on Sept. 20, the lawsuit said.

Two days later, he was told his job was being eliminated and his last day would be Friday, according to the lawsuit. He also was told he was being considered for another position in a different department, but it was uncertain if he would be offered that position, the lawsuit said.

The bank discovered the files had been emailed on Sept. 30, the lawsuit said.

Mr. Chalasani didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment Thursday.

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