Jury Gets Steinberg Case

Dec 17 2013 | 10:54am ET

Nine women and three men have begun their deliberations in the trial of SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager Michael Steinberg.

The case went to the jury this morning following closing arguments by both sides yesterday. Steinberg is charged with insider-trading, allegedly using tips about Dell Inc. and Nvidia Corp. provided by his former analyst, Jon Horvath.

Horvath's testimony took up the majority of the trial, and Steinberg's lawyer used his final words to the jury to hammer home his argument that Horvath, who is cooperating with prosecutors, is a liar seeking to save his own skin.

"Just as Jon Horvath engaged in deception and rule-breaking when he thought his job was in jeopardy in 2007, he engaged in the same type of deception when he thought his liberty was at stake, as it was last year," Berke said, adding that the "prosecution accepted what he told them hook, line and sinker."

"If you don't believe something a witness says, you can reject his entire testimony."

Prosecutor Harry Chernoff told the jury that Steinberg's story—that he didn't know Horvath was in receipt of confidential corporate information—does not pass the smell test.

"You don't work in the financial industry all those years and not understand the significance of getting rolled up quarterly earnings numbers before the announcement," he said.

"When Jon Horvath came back with inside information, Mike Steinberg gladly took it and traded on it again and again and again."

Steinberg, the highest-ranking SAC employee to face criminal insider-trading charges, could be sentenced to decades in prison if convicted.

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