Insider-trading trial of SAC Capital's Steinberg to start November 18

Fri May 3, 2013 4:30pm EDT
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By Bernard Vaughan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge has set November 18 for the start of the criminal trial of Michael Steinberg, the most senior employee of Steven A. Cohen's hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors to be indicted for insider trading.

U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan in Manhattan also declined to allow Steinberg's case to be randomly assigned to another judge.

Steinberg's lawyer, Barry Berke, had previously asked for the switch, arguing that Sullivan had given prosecutors an easier burden to meet in other insider-trading cases compared to other judges.

"So you're stuck with me, Mr. Steinberg," Sullivan said, adding that he would ensure Steinberg would get a fair trial.

Steinberg pleaded not guilty on March 29 to five counts of conspiracy and securities fraud for allegedly trading on shares of computer company Dell Inc DELL.O and chipmaker Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O: Quote) in 2008 and 2009 based on inside information.

The tips netted $1.4 million in illegal profits for Cohen's $15 billion hedge fund, prosecutors said. A related U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission complaint said Steinberg generated $6.4 million in profits and avoided losses for SAC Capital.

Steinberg is one of nine current or former SAC Capital employees charged or implicated in an extensive government crackdown on insider trading.

Billionaire Cohen has not been accused of any wrongdoing.   Continued...

Michael Steinberg leaves Manhattan Federal Court in New York March 29, 2013. REUTERS/Keith Bedford