REUTERS/ Lucas Jackson
U.S. District Attorney Preet Bharara spoke publicly about the $1.8 billion fine and admission of guilt hedge fund SAC Capital agreed to this morning — the settlement is still subject to Court approval.
Columbia law professor John Coffee told Fox Business Network that Cohen had to make this deal, or take the risk of having an even more expensive Court case drag SAC Capital through even more reputational mud.
The fund will also return all outside capital and become a family office.
At the government's press conference, an FBI official said that SAC created an unprecedented "culture of corporate corruption."
Now — a few details about the settlement. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said that no individuals have been indicted, and that those who have already been indicted (like former SAC employee Mathew Martoma, whose trial begins next year) will still be presumed innocent despite the firm's admission of guilt.
On the other hand, individuals that have yet to be accused of insider trading aren't safe yet. For example, the SEC is continuing its probe into Steven Cohen as an individual, and that means the SEC could still bar him from the securities industry for failing to supervise his brokers.
Until then, he could technically just start another hedge fund — not exactly what the SEC is going for.
"No institutions should rest easy in the belief that it is too big to jail," said Bharara. "Today one of the world's most powerful hedge funds... agreed to shut down... That is the just... outcome."
A few more important points about the settlement: The SEC will create a timetable for unwinding the hedge fund. No outside investor money will be used to pay the hedge fund's $1.8 billion fine (which Bharara called "fair but steep), and there will be no deduction or tax benefit available for funds used to pay this settlement (which, for the record, will go to the U.S. Treasury).
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