U.S. asks jurors to convict former SAC fund manager Martoma

Mon Feb 3, 2014 6:02pm EST
 
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By Nate Raymond and Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Mathew Martoma sought out a "canary in the coal mine" to give him inside information on drug companies, a federal prosecutor said on Monday, urging jurors to convict the former SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager of insider trading.

Martoma, 39, built up contacts with doctors involved in a clinical trial of an Alzheimer's drug, which paid off in a "dramatic way" when one of them told him the final results, Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene Ingoglia said.

But Martoma's defense lawyer, Richard Strassberg, told jurors the entire case came down to the unreliable testimony of a single doctor who cooperated with the government in the hopes of avoiding prison.

Martoma, Strassberg added, was the victim of a "rush to judgment" by investigators whose true target was Steven A. Cohen, the founder of SAC Capital, who has not been criminally charged.

The competing arguments came at the close of a four-week trial over what prosecutors call the most lucrative insider trading episode in U.S. history.

The jury is expected to begin deliberating on Tuesday.

Martoma, who worked in SAC's CR Intrinsic Investors division, is accused of using confidential information to trade the stocks of the drug's developers, Elan Corp Plc and Wyeth, which is now owned by Pfizer Inc.

Based on that information, SAC Capital made profit and avoided losses of about $275 million, prosecutors say.   Continued...

 
Former SAC Capital portfolio manager Mathew Martoma arrives at the Manhattan Federal Courthouse in downtown Manhattan in New York, January 15, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid