Nov. 04 - The record setting $1.8 billion wire tapping and insider trading settlement may put SAC Capital out of business, but its founder is likely still a target of investigators. Bobbi Rebell reports.
It's game over for hedge fund SAC Capital as we know it. The firm will pay more than $1.8 billion- a record- to settle wire fraud and insider trading charges. The firm will no longer provide investment advisory services and won't accept funds from outside investors The deal ends a 7 year investigation. Prosecutors say employees were encouraged to tap into personal networks to get inside information about publicly traded companies. U.S. Attorney for the southern district of New York Preet Bharara: SOUNDBITE: PREET BHARARA, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Today one of the world's largest and most powerful hedge funds agreed to plead guilty to shut down its outside investment business and pay the largest fine in the history of insider trading. That is the just and appropriate price in our view for the pervasive and unprecedented institutional misconduct that occurred here. " But the deal does not include any individuals- including founder Steven A. Cohen. Bharara made it clear criminal investigations are continuing- and no one is immune. Former SEC lawyer Russell Duncan is a partner at Shulman Rogers: SOUNDBITE: RUSSELL DUNCAN, PARTNER, SHULMAN ROGERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There is still going to be - the chickens have not all come home to roost. I believe that today's plea of SAC capital certainly suggests that the government is very serious and that they are continuing to investigate these avenues. There are two individuals who are still waiting to be tried as a result of the investigations. Mr. Cohen has an ongoing SEC case which has not yet been resolved and its quite clear the government has reserved the right, reserved the ability to go after Mr. Cohen if they can make that last connection. So I don't think this story is quite over yet." In a statement, SAC said "The tiny fraction of wrongdoers does not represent the 3.000 honest men and women who have worked at the firm during the past 21 years" and that the firm "never encouraged, promoted or tolerated insider trading". Before investors starting pulling their money- SAC managed as much as $14 billion. Now- it will most likely convert to a family office- and only manage founder Steven Cohen's estimated $9 billion. Cohen is still facing an administrative hearing for failing to supervise his employees.