If there is a better way to admit guilt, and several decades of ill-gotten billions courtesy of now legendary “information arbitrage”, coupled with some heavy expert network hot tips and one year contract retentions of every biotech expert from here to Calcutta, than pleading the Fifth, we have yet to hear it. We are confident, however, that SAC FoF investor Anthony Scaramucci will provide some truly memorable examples. Or if not that, then at least a few guest passes to his “fun” and brilliant “Hooters for Hedgies” concept.
Steven A. Cohen, summoned to testify before a grand jury about allegations of insider trading at his SAC Capital Advisors LP, invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself, said two people familiar with the matter.
It wasn’t clear if Cohen, 57, had invoked his right to testify before the grand jury or had been excused from appearing after informing prosecutors of using the privilege, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.
“I wouldn’t have recommended that he goes in to testify given how this looks like the government is trying to build a case around Cohen, rather than investigate one,” said Thomas Gorman, a partner at law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Washington. “It just seems that the government is reaching for a theory to support their beliefs.”
The $15 billion firm and its billionaire founder have moved to the center of a U.S. multi-year investigation of insider trading on Wall Street since former portfolio manager Mathew Martoma was charged in November in what prosecutors called the biggest insider-trading scheme in history.
While SAC paid a record $602 million to settle a civil case related to Martoma’s trades, the government has shown no sign of ending its scrutiny of the firm. SAC last month told clients it will no longer cooperate unconditionally with the government.
Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for SAC Capital at Sard Verbinnen & Co., declined to comment, as did Jerika Richardson, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan.
Cohen hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing and has said he acted appropriately. Martoma has pleaded not guilty and will go on trial Nov. 4.
If a “target” of a government investigation refuses to testify on Fifth Amendment grounds, they don’t normally need to appear before a grand jury, according to government manual. A “target” is a person as to whom the prosecutor or the grand jury has substantial evidence linking him or her to a crime and who is considered to be is a putative defendant, the manual says.
Of course, Cohen’s strategy is not all that novel…