New York City Federal Authorities announced criminal charges against SAC Capital Advisors LLP on Thursday.
The authorities have announced a raft of criminal charges against SAC, which is considered an unusual move that could cripple one of Wall Street’s most successful stock trading firms.
Steve Cohen not charged
The Federal authorities have charged SAC with wire fraud and four counts of securities fraud.
For lack of direct evidence linking founder Steve Cohen with the illicit trades, the government couldn’t criminally charge him, though he owns 100 percent of the firm that he founded over two decades back.
Yesterday, it was reported Federal prosecutors are preparing to charge the $15 billion hedge fund as early as this week .
It was also reported earlier that U.S. prosecutors have concluded that they don’t have sufficient evidence to convict Steven Cohen before a July deadline.
SAC Capital presented with a 41-page indictment
In the 41-page indictment, prosecutors charged SAC Capital and its subsidiaries with carrying out a broad insider trading scheme between 1999 and 2010.
Due to the broader collateral damage that could be inflicted, financial institutions are rarely indicted.
According to the 41-page indictment, as a result of committing the alleged offenses, SAC Capital and the other defendants shall forfeit to the United States, all property, real and personal, which constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to the commission of those offenses.
Possible implications of indictment
Following the insider trading charges, some investors became jittery and withdrawn about $5 billion from the hedge fund. As of May, SAC Capital managed about $14.5 billion of which Steven Cohen has about $7.5 billion in SAC funds while employees hold $1.5 billion of assets.
Ben Protess and Peter Lattman of Dealbook feel the withdrawal could steam in the wake of today’s indictment. Further, the SAC may attempt to assuage concerns from Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) and other large banks that trade with SAC and finance its operations.
Some legal experts opine an indictment could trigger default provisions in the fund’s agreement with its trading partners. This would force the brokerage firms to stop business dealing with the fund.
Some feel Steve Cohen could shut down SAC and start a ‘family office’—though such an option could be hampered due to an accusation last week from the Securities Exchange Commission that Cohen failed to supervise employees. This could result in the SEC banning Steve Cohen for life.