SAC's Steinberg gets 3-1/2 years prison for insider trading

Fri May 16, 2014 2:15pm EDT
 
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By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Michael Steinberg, a portfolio manager at Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors hedge fund, was sentenced on Friday to 3-1/2 years in prison for insider trading.

The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan in Manhattan, five months after a federal jury convicted Steinberg on securities fraud and conspiracy charges, in a case stemming from a broad crackdown on insider trading on Wall Street.

Steinberg's lawyers had asked for no more than two years in prison, while prosecutors had argued for up to 6-1/2 years.

Sullivan also ordered Steinberg to pay a $2 million fine and forfeit $365,142, a sum the government says Steinberg and an SAC analyst were paid from the illegal trading profits.

Dozens of family members and friends attended the sentencing and sent letters to the judge. The letters, Sullivan said, described Steinberg in a positive light that set him apart from other defendants he had sentenced.

"If it were only based on the character of this man, it would be easy, because I do think this is a good man," he said. "But I do have to consider the crime here."

Prosecutors accused Steinberg of trading on illegal tips about Dell Inc and Nvidia Corp passed to him by an SAC analyst, who admitted to swapping confidential information among a group of analysts at other hedge funds. Steinberg's trading resulted in illegal profits of $1.82 million, prosecutors said.

Steinberg, 42, is one of eight current or former SAC Capital employees to be convicted on insider trading charges.   Continued...

 
Michael Steinberg, a former portfolio manager at Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors hedge fund, walks to the Federal Court in Manhattan in New York, May 16, 2014. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz