Citadel Investment Group moved to distance itself from the criminal charges against SAC Capital Advisors, saying that it never had an "insider trading group."
The SAC indictment includes the allegation that the hedge fund hired Richard Lee from Citadel in 2009 despite warnings that Lee was a known member of Citadel's "insider trading group." Lee pleaded guilty to illegal trading while at SAC this week.
Citadel, which has not been accused of any wrongdoing, defended itself against the allegation.
"Citadel does not have, and never has had, an 'insider trading group,'" it said. "Citadel has strict rules against, and oversight designed to prevent, insider trading. Any suggestion to the contrary is baseless and without merit."
Citadel elaborated on its reasons for firing Lee, which it said had nothing to do with insider-trading. Instead, the hedge fund said, Lee had violated its policies on internal transfers of positions.
"Mr. Lee's actions would have impacted only his potential future compensation," Citadel said. "Within hours, Mr. Lee's misconduct was reported to Citadel management. Mr. Lee was immediately terminated."