A former SAC Capital Advisors LP portfolio manager told the FBI it was 'understood' that those assigned to give their best trading ideas to founder Steven Cohen would provide him with insider information, according to an agent’s notes of the conversation.
The former fund manager, Noah Freeman, pleaded guilty to securities fraud in February 2011 after speaking to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and federal prosecutors in New York in late 2010, in a so-called proffer session. Defendants use such sessions to determine whether to cooperate with the government against others.
'At SAC Capital you were expected to provide your trading ideas to Cohen', Freeman said, according to a December 16th, 2010, memo written by FBI Special Agent B.J. Kang. 'Freeman and others at SAC Capital understood that providing Cohen with your best trading ideas involved providing Cohen with inside information'.
Bloomberg reports that Freeman, one of five current or former SAC portfolio managers or analysts implicated in insider trading, isn’t quoted as saying Cohen, 56, knew the information came from illegally obtained tips, ordered him to provide them or traded on the data. Neither Cohen nor Stamford, Connecticut-based SAC Capital, which manages $14bn in assets, has been accused of criminal or civil wrongdoing.
Michael Steinberg, a portfolio manager at SAC’s Sigma Capital Management unit implicated in insider trading, has been placed on leave by SAC, a person familiar with the matter said. He is an unindicted co-conspirator related to the case against Jon Horvath, a former SAC analyst he supervised, people familiar with the case said last week.
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image: © Steven Depolo