Cohen Deposed By SEC In Insider Probe

Jun 21 2012 | 12:20pm ET

SAC Capital Advisors founder Steven Cohen was deposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission as part of its investigation into possible insider-trading at his hedge fund.

Cohen testified before the regulator in New York recently. The questioning covered profitable trades made close to announcements, according to Bloomberg News.

Neither Cohen nor SAC has been accused of any wrongdoing. But the hedge fund and its chief are known to be targets of insider-trading probes; Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent B.J. Kang, who played a big role in the Raj Rajaratnam case, has been looking at SAC for several years. At least four SAC managers or alumni have pleaded guilty in other insider-trading cases recently, and a fifth, SAC technology analyst Jon Horvath, was arrested in January. Another former SAC analyst, Jonathan Hollander, settled SEC insider-trading allegations last year, without admitting or denying the charges.

In addition, Broadband Research's John Kinnucan, also recently arrested, counted SAC among his hedge fund clients. Federal authorities also recorded some of Cohen's calls with cooperating witnesses more than four years ago, but they revealed no illegal activity. And two of the four hedge funds raided in November 2010 by the FBI were led by SAC alumni, including Diamondback Capital Management, which was co-founded by Cohen's brother-in-law.

SAC has also been accused of insider-trading by two possibly less-than-trustworthy sources, arch-fraudster Bernard Madoff and Cohen's ex-wife, Patricia.

The deposition is at least the second in as many years faced by Cohen. Last year, he testified as part of a market-manipulation lawsuit filed against SAC and other hedge funds by Canadian insurer Fairfax Financial Holdings. In that deposition—a judge has since dismissed the counts against SAC—Cohen testified that insider-trading rules are "very vague."


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