SAC Manager An Unidicted Co-Conspirator In Insider Case

Sep 26 2012 | 12:27pm ET

A SAC Capital Management portfolio manager has been identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in an alleged technology stock insider-trading scheme.

Michael Steinberg was one of four unidicted co-conspirators added by prosecutors earlier this month. While their names were expunged from the publicly-available filing, the letter identifies one as "the portfolio manager to whom Jon Horvath reported at his hedge fund." That person is Steinberg, Bloomberg News reports.

Horvath is one of three men set to go on trial at the end of next month for their roles in what U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has called a "criminal club." Horvath, Level Global Investors co-founder Anthony Chiasson and former Diamondback Capital Management trader Todd Newman allegedly swapped tips about a variety of technology companies, earning $62 million in illicit profits trading on them. Five others have pleaded guilty in the scam and are cooperating with prosecutors.

Neither Steinberg, who works at SAC's Sigma Capital Management division, nor SAC have been accused of any wrongdoing. But Steinberg is just the latest SAC employee or alumnus to be linked or charged during the government's crackdown on insider-trading, which has ensnared more than 70 people. Two SAC vets, Noah Freeman and Donald Longueuil, pleaded guilty last year to insider-trading. Also last year, former SAC analyst Jonathan Hollander settled Securities and Exchange Commission charges that he traded illegally; Hollander was not charged criminally. Other SAC veterans who have pleaded guilty to insider trading include Richard Choo-Beng Lee, who said he traded illegally while at SAC, and Joseph Skowron, who pleaded guilty to doing so at FrontPoint Partners.

SAC itself has faced a number of insider-trading probes, but none have borne fruit. The hedge fund was a client of Broadband Research, whose founder, John Kinnucan, pleaded guilty to passing tips to hedge fund managers earlier this year. Federal investigators had asked Kinnucan to wear a wire in his dealings with Steinberg, but he refused.

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