SAC Probe, Two-Year Old SEC Insider-Trading Case Linked

Dec 13 2012 | 2:15pm ET

Part of the insider-trading probe into SAC Capital Advisors is tied to a two-year-old insider-trading lawsuit against another investor.

Among the potentially illegal trades at SAC that federal investigators are looking at are its 2010 trades in shares of pharmaceutical company InterMune. SAC bought up more than four million InterMune shares in the first quarter, coinciding with an announcement that sent the company's stock price soaring. But a drug rejection two months later sent the shares into a free-fall, but not before SAC dumped almost all of them.

Six months later, the SEC sued two unidentified traders in InterMune stock options. That lawsuit is tied to the current probe of SAC, Bloomberg News reports.

The traders hit with that lawsuit were Michael Sarkesian and his investment firm, Quonre Inc. In March, Sarkesian and the vehicle settled the SEC's charges, agreeing to pay more than $700,000 in forfeitures and fines. Neither admitted or denied any wrongdoing.

The SEC, which filed its suit against Sakesian in December 2010, alleged that he had been tipped about the good news that SAC allegedly traded on earlier in the by a "source" who stood to gain some "personal benefit." The source was not identified by the SEC.

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