Monday, 8 February 2016
Last updated 43 min ago
Oct 18 2007 | 2:18pm ET
For a hedge fund as obsessed with secrecy as SAC Capital, two weeks of sex-scandal headlines, reporters milling around and federal agencies poking around cannot have been much fun. But things at the Stamford, Conn.-based firm could get worse before they get better.
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is set to decide in the next few weeks whether to join ex-SAC junior trader Andrew Tong’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the firm and his former boss, Ping Jiang. Tong alleges that he was sexually assaulted at work, and that Jiang ordered him to take estrogen pills and wear women’s clothing in an effort to curb his aggressive trading habits. Tong, who is married, also alleges that he and Jiang had a sexual relationship.
SAC and Jiang have angrily denied the charges. But CNBC reports that the EEOC is ramping up its probe of SAC, taking the rare step of conducting on site interviews with Jiang and his team at SAC’s New York office. CNBC anchor Charles Gasparino reports that the federal agency has spoken to most, if not all, of Jiang’s trading staff.
Worse still for SAC, the EEOC may expand its probe beyond Tong’s claims, prompted by a newspaper quote from a SAC employee.
“If taking female hormones actually helped you do your job, they would simply hire women here,” the unidentified employee at SAC’s Stamford headquarters told the New York Post. “But they don't. They don't think women are aggressive enough.”
Should the probe expand to SAC’s alleged sexism in hiring, SAC brass is unlikely to be especially pleased. Another employee told the Post last week that firm leaders were “livid” about Tong’s allegations appearing in the media and conducted a “witch hunt” to find the leaker.
Worst of all, CNBC reports, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York has interviewed Tong about SAC’s trading activity. The hedge fund has been sued over allegedly trading on tips about negative analyst reports.