Closing Arguments Heard In Martoma Trial

Feb 4 2014 | 12:34pm ET

The jury in the Mathew Martoma insider-trading case will begin considering the former SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager's fate today, following closing pleas from both Martoma's lawyers and prosecutors.

The two sides in the case made their final pitch before a packed courtroom yesterday. Martoma's lawyers assailed the government's star witness and his "totally unbelievable" memory, and called their client a victim of the government's obsession with SAC founder Steven Cohen. Prosecutors countered that Martoma sought an "illegal sneak preview" of pharmaceutical trial results, and used them to earn or save SAC $276 million.

Martoma's chief lawyer, Richard Strassberg, urged the jury to acquit his client, calling into question the testimony of Sidney Gilman, the former medical professor who claims to have passed confidential information to Martoma. Gilman said on the stand that he remembered a key meeting with Martoma only recently as part of an "evolutionary" process; Strassberg said, "he's not remembering, he's creating."

"You can't rely on anything he said to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt," he said. "Without his testimony, the prosecution has no case."

Strassberg cited another part of Gilman's testimony, when the doctor said that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents told him he was "just a grain of sand, as is Mr. Martoma," and that "they are really after a man named Steven A. Cohen."

"Mathew was just a grain of sand in their haste to make a case against someone who is not even in this courtroom: Mathew's boss, Steven Cohen," Strassberg said.

But Martoma "is not a grain of sand," he continued. "He is not a means to make a case against Steve Cohen."

"Mathew's life is on the line," Strassberg reminded the jury. Martoma faces decades in prison if he is convicted.

Prosecutors argued that Gilman would have been crazy to lie on the stand,  and that he was a "canary in the coal mine," giving Martoma an "early warning system."

Martoma was "caught with his hand deep in the cookie jar, and the defense would like you to believe that he was just putting the cookie back," prosecutor Arlo Devlin-brown said. His colleague, Eugene Ingoglia, pointed to what he called the "avalanche of evidence" against Martoma.


In Depth

High Time For A Cannabis Hedge Fund?

Sep 30 2014 | 7:07am ET

Launching a hedge fund is always a gamble, but Leslie Bocskor's decision to launch...

Lifestyle

Griffin Donates $1M To Rauner's Illinois Gov. Campaign

Sep 22 2014 | 9:29am ET

Hedge fund billionaire Kenneth Griffin definitely has a dog in this fight. The Citadel...

Guest Contributor

Appraisal Ratio Key To Evaluating Hedge Funds And Other New Investments

Sep 29 2014 | 3:07pm ET

As a former finance professor Peter Hecht experiences heartburn every time he hears...

 

Videos

Editor's Note

    Must Attend Hedge Fund Charity Events For October

    Sep 30 2014 | 9:29am ET

    The crisp Autumnal days of October are upon us, and so are a few of the hedge fund industry’s favorite charitable events. If you have never been to Rocktoberfest, well, you are missing out. And for a quieter evening of sipping and socializing, stop by HFC’s Wine Soiree. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

September 2014 Cover

High frequency market making

High frequency trading is not evil, it is not a conspiracy and it really is not new; it is the natural evolution of the professional trading community making markets, providing liquidity and hopefully...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.