Five-Count Criminal Indictment Hits SAC Capital

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The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York has issued a five-count criminal indictment of SAC Capital Advisors, including four charges of securities fraud and one charge of wire fraud. The hedge fund, run by Steven A. Cohen, is one of country’s most successful stock-trading companies.

Cohen himself has apparently escaped any criminal charges, but he does face charges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for failing properly to supervise employees of SAC Capital who have been charged with insider trading.

The 40-page indictment traces insider trading by SAC Capital from 1999 to 2010. In an overview of the insider trading scheme, the U.S. attorney claims that the “predictable and foreseeable result” of SAC Capital’s “relentless pursuit of an ‘information edge’” was “systematic insider trading … resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars of illegal profits and avoided losses at the expense of members of the investing public.”

On the charge of wire fraud, the indictment claims that the “unlawful conduct resulted in insider trading that was substantial, pervasive and on a scale without known precedent in the hedge fund industry.”

The securities fraud charges are directed at four separate SAC Capital entities: SAC Capital L.P., SAC Capital Advisors LLC, CR Intrinsic and Sigma Capital.

The government is seeking the forfeiture of any asset of any of the SAC Capital entities that may have been gained from the proceeds of the offenses the company is charged with.