SAC Capital’s, Michael Steinberg has been accused of illegal trading of the technology stocks. He will be tried in the court starting from Tuesday following a payment of record $1.2 billion by Cohen’s firm to settle insider trading charges, just two weeks ago, reports Reuters.
Steinberg first to fight a case
Steinberg becomes the first employee of SAC to fight his case as others have pleaded guilty. Another SAC manager, Mathew Martoma, is set to follow a trial, in January. Steinberg in on leave from the SAC, and have become the top most employees, till now, to face the insider trading charges. He was arrested from his home on New York’s Park Avenue on Good Friday this year.
If the verdict comes in favor of the prosecutors, then it will continue their winning run in the trial in respect to the revelation of insider trading on the Wall Street. Total of 76 people have been found guilty since the first charges were announced in October 2009.
Steinberg’s lawyer, Barry Berke turned down the request to comment on the development, but maintained that his client did not do any wrong, and his “trading decisions were based on detailed analysis.”
Information flowed from one source to another
Prosecution is expected to depend upon the testimony of a star witness, Jon Horvath who was in close cooperation with the prosecutors after pleading guilty, in September 2012, on the eve of his own trial. Prosecutors have also accused an SAC analyst of being part of a “corrupt circle of friends,” who passed on the secret information to give benefits to hedge fund employees.
The case resolves around the illegal trading of shares of Dell Inc. (DELL) and NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA), in late 2007 through 2009. The trading was carried by the Sigma Capital Management, which is SAC hedge fund focused on technology stocks that Steinberg oversaw.
Prosecutors claim that, in 2008 and 2009, Horvath accessed the secret well ahead of the Dell’s quarterly earnings announcements from Jesse Tortora, an analyst at Diamondback Capital Management.
Tortora got his hands on information from another analyst Sandeep Goyal at Neuberger Berman, prosecutors say. The spiral of information continued as Goyal got the information from Rob Ray, an employee in the investor relations department at Dell, where he previously worked as per the charges and evidence of previous trial.
In a similar way, many people were involved in the Nvidia case, also, for finally passing the information to Steinberg, as prosecutors claim.