March 15, 2013
S.A.C. Affiliate Agrees to Pay over $600 Million to Settle Insider Trading ChargesBig headlines this Friday afternoon: the SEC announced that Stamford, hedge fund advisory firm CR Intrinsic Investors--an affiliate of S.A.C. Capital Advisors-- has agreed to pay more than $600 million to settle SEC charges that it participated in an insider trading scheme involving a clinical trial for an Alzheimer’s drug being jointly developed by two pharmaceutical companies. The settlement is the largest ever in an insider trading case, requiring CR Intrinsic to pay $274,972,541 in disgorgement, $51,802,381.22 in prejudgment interest, and a $274,972,541 penalty.
The SEC charged CR Intrinsic with insider trading in November 2012, alleging that one of the firm’s portfolio managers Mathew Martoma illegally obtained confidential details about the clinical trial from Dr. Sidney Gilman, who was selected by the pharmaceutical companies — Elan Corporation and Wyeth — to present the final drug trial results to the public.
The SEC’s complaint against CR Intrinsic, Martoma, and Dr. Gilman alleged that during phone calls arranged by a New York-based expert network firm for which Dr. Gilman moonlighted as a medical consultant, he tipped Martoma with safety data and eventually details about negative results in the trial about two weeks before they were made public in July 2008. Martoma and CR Intrinsic then caused several hedge funds to sell more than $960 million in Elan and Wyeth securities in a little more than a week.
In an amended complaint filed today, the SEC added S.A.C. Capital Advisors and four hedge funds managed by CR Intrinsic and S.A.C. Capital as relief defendants because they each received ill-gotten gains from the insider trading scheme.
The settlement is subject to the approval of Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The settlement would resolve the SEC’s charges against CR Intrinsic and the relief defendants relating to the trades in the securities of Elan and Wyeth between July 21 and July 30, 2008. The settling parties neither admit nor deny the charges. The settlement does not resolve the charges against Martoma, whose case continues in litigation. The court previously entered a consent judgment against Dr. Gilman requiring him to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest, and permanently enjoining him from further violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws.
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