When it comes to pursuing white-collar crime, there have arguably been prosecutorial crickets surrounding the abuses that lead to the financial crisis of 2008. We’ve seen the opposite approach taken to insider trading.
A crackdown from the Feds since 2009 has resulted in charges against 81 people, with 73 convictions and guilty pleas.
Yet billionaire hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen, who authorities have been investigating for seven years, remains a free man. Despite wiretaps and indictments of some underlings, investigators don’t appear to have a criminal case against him. That’s even though Cohen has “been an obsession” for them, according to veteran reporter Charlie Gasparino.
And according to the Wall Street Journal this week, Cohen is expected to avoid criminal charges ahead of a July deadline related to one major case (due to statute of limitations).
Charlie Gasparino, senior correspondent at Fox Business, has reported on insider trading and the Cohen investigation extensively for his new book. While the July deadline may pass, he doesn't think Cohen is off the hook.
“I don’t know if it’s him specifically, it could be the firm specifically,” he tells The Daily Ticker. “I think [[prosecutors are just]] not going to walk away.”
Check out the video interview above with Gasparino to find out why.
Gasparino chronicles the investigation of Cohen in "Circle of Friends: The Massive Federal Crackdown on Insider Trading--and Why the Markets Always Work Against the Little Guy."
While Gasparino thinks charges against Cohen in some way are likely, he contends there has been a degree of prosecutorial excess here.
“If you’re looking at a guy for seven years and you haven’t found anything and you’re destroying his business, the civil libertarian in me says enough,” Gasparino says.
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