U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara speaks during a news conference, Thursday, July 25, 2013 in New York. SAC Capital, the hedge fund operated by embattled billionaire Steven A. Cohen was hit with white-collar criminal charges Thursday that accused the fund of making hundreds of millions of dollars illegally, and a related government lawsuit said insider trading was pervasive and unprecedented at the firm. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
NEW YORK (AP) — One of Wall Street’s biggest and most successful hedge fund companies was a hotbed of insider trading and its embattled billionaire owner wanted to hear no evil, prosecutors said in an indictment unsealed Thursday that claimed the firm earned hundreds of millions of dollars illegally.
The criminal indictment and civil lawsuits brought against SAC Capital Advisors and related companies did not name billionaire Steven A. Cohen as a defendant, referencing him only as the “SAC owner” who “enabled and promoted” insider trading practices.
At a news conference, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said SAC “trafficked in inside information on a scale without any known precedent in the history of hedge funds.” He declined to comment on whether Cohen would be charged.
For more than a decade, the company earned hundreds of millions of dollars illegally as its portfolio managers and analysts traded on inside information from at least 20 public companies, Bharara said, announcing charges of wire fraud and four counts of securities fraud spanning 1999 to 2010. A court appearance for the firm’s lawyers was scheduled for Friday.
The possibility that the criminal case could topple the Stamford, Conn., firm, which once managed $15 billion in assets, led the prosecutor to note that the government was not seeking to freeze Login to read more