SAC's Steinberg Won't Testify

Dec 16 2013 | 11:07am ET

The government's perfect track record in insider-trading cases—and the next several decades of SAC Capital Advisors trader Michael Steinberg's life—could be in the hands of a jury by the end of the day.

Prosecutors rested their case against Steinberg on Friday, and the hedge fund manager's lawyer, Barry Berke, said that the defendant would not testify. Berke added, "We'll be in a position to sum up on Monday" after the defense calls at least one, and no more than a few, witnesses.

Steinberg is accused of trading Dell Inc. and Nvidia Corp. shares based on confidential corporate information provided by his former analyst, Jon Horvath. The entire case appears to hinge on Horvath, Steinberg's only direct connection to an alleged insider-trading ring, and Horvath's testimony took up much of the trial. Steinberg's lawyers accused Horvath of being a liar trying to save his own skin and of hiding the sources of his information from his boss.

Horvath's time on the stand ended on Wednesday, after nine days. Prosecutors than called the last two of their cooperating witnesses—admitted members of Horvath's insider-trading ring, to show the jury the origins of Horvath's tips. All told, four witnesses testified on Friday, including Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Salvatore Cincinelli.

Steinberg, the highest-ranking SAC employee to face criminal charges in the government's insider-trading crackdown and a personal friend of SAC founder Steven Cohen, could face up to 85 years in prison if convicted.


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