A former Goldman Sachs Group Inc computer programmer who was cleared of federal charges in February faces new charges of illegally using and copying the firm's high-frequency trading code, according to an arrest warrant filed in Manhattan criminal court.

The charges, brought by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, are a new twist in a case first brought by U.S. federal prosecutors in July 2009.

The programmer, Sergey Aleynikov, was found guilty at trial in December 2010 of theft of trade secrets. A U.S. appeals court reversed his conviction and he was released from prison in February after serving nearly one year of an eight-year sentence.

The felony arrest warrant, dated last week and signed by an FBI agent, charges Aleynikov with "unlawful use of secret scientific material" and "unlawful duplication of computer related material."

Aleynikov's lawyer, Kevin Marino, told Reuters on Thursday that "we look forward to vigorously defending Mr. Aleynikov against these false charges." (Reporting By Grant McCool; Editing by Martha Graybow; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)