Fri March 15, 2013
Record $614 Million In Penalties Levied As Insider Trading Cases Are Settled
Connecticut-based hedge fund CR Intrinsic Investors "has agreed to pay more than $600 million to settle SEC charges that it participated in an insider trading scheme involving a clinical trial for an Alzheimer's drug," the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Friday.
Also Friday, the SEC announced that another hedge fund firm — Sigma Capital — "has agreed to pay nearly $14 million to settle charges that the firm engaged in insider trading based on nonpublic information obtained through one of its analysts."
Both firms, The Wall Street Journal writes, are "affiliates of [billionaire] Steven A. Cohen's embattled SAC Capital Advisors."
"Cohen's SAC Capital will pay the entire settlement expenses, according to a person familiar with the firm who asked not to be named because the information is private. Stamford, Connecticut-based SAC, which manages $15 billion, has said it would indemnify clients against disgorgement of illegal profits and legal fees."
The news service also writes that "the SAC affiliates settled the SEC's claims without admitting or denying wrongdoing." Cohen has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
The Journal adds that:
"In the Intrinsic case, the SEC alleged that the affiliate traded on nonpublic information regarding the clinical trial of an Alzheimer's drug. Mathew Martoma, a former Intrinsic portfolio manager, is separately facing criminal charges related to the alleged trades and has denied wrongdoing."
Charles Stillman, a lawyer for Martoma, tells Bloomberg that "SAC's business decision to settle with the SEC in no way changes the fact that Mathew Martoma is an innocent man."
The SEC's case against Sigma Capital alleged that the insider trading involved "the quarterly earnings of Dell and Nvidia Corporation." The agency adds that the case was "borne out of its ongoing investigation into expert networks and the trading activities of hedge funds [and] began last year with charges against several hedge fund managers and analysts including Jon Horvath, a former analyst at Sigma Capital. Horvath agreed to a settlement earlier this month in which he admitted liability."