Prosecutors Want More Than Eight Years In Prison For Martoma

Jun 30 2014 | 6:33am ET

Prosecutors don’t think that former SAC Capital Advisors trader Mathew Martoma should spend nearly 20 years in prison—they’d settle for something closer to 10.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan urged U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe to impose a sentence “toward the high end” of those levied in previous insider-trading cases. The prosecutors said that the sentence should be longer than the eight years recommended by the court’s probation department; the longest insider-trading sentence in history is 12 years behind bars.

“If the crime of insider trading is a serious one, Martoma stands before the court as one of the very worst offenders,” prosecutors wrote.

Martoma was convicted in February of illegally trading shares of two pharmaceutical companies in a scheme that prosecutors called the “most lucrative” insider-trading case in history, one which earned SAC some $276 million in illicit profits. In their letter to Gardephe, prosecutors called those ill-gotten gains “unprecedented.”

Martoma is set to be sentenced on July 28, a six-week delay from the original hearing, prompted by the probation department’s calculation that federal sentencing guidelines called for a term of between 15 years, eight months and 19 years, seven months. The former hedge fund manager’s lawyers called that “outrageous,” and prosecutors have not opposed a sentence below that range.

Martoma’s lawyers are seeking a sentence of between two and three years.

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