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Firm pleads guilty to insider trading

Colorado investors might be interested in a case brought against a prominent hedge fund group. The fund will plead guilty to charges of securities fraud, according to reports. The plea will be the end a federal court case that arose from a 6-year investigation into business transactions that allegedly involved insider trading.

SAC Capital Advisors LP will pay a $1.8 billion fine as part of the plea deal with prosecutors. The fund, which is based in Stamford, Connecticut, does business across the United States. Prosecutors obtained an indictment against the company in July. They accused the firm of obtaining hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal profit by operating a conspiracy since 1999. However, the company has denied any wrongdoing. Also, firm's founder was not personally charged in the indictment. Nevertheless, several of SAC's senior staff were charged and face trial in the coming months.

In addition, Elan Corp. shareholders who brought suit over alleged insider trading have asked the presiding judge to reject any deal that doesn't include an admission of guilt by SAC. However, people familiar with the plea agreement reportedly said that the deal would not include any admission by the firm that it promoted insider trading. About $1.2 billion of the proposed fine is from the criminal probe by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney, while more than $600 million is to settle a related suit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Litigation over complex business transactions can be expensive and time consuming. An attorney who represents businesses in lawsuits may be able to help a client by giving advice throughout legal proceedings. In lawsuits similar to the case brought against SAC, that attorney may be able to construct a similar plea agreement, which could minimize the fines given in court.

Source: Bloomberg, "SAC to Plead Guilty to Securities Fraud, CNBC Reports", Joe Schneider, November 03, 2013

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