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Hedge fund to pay $600M in insider-trading case

One of the country's biggest hedge funds has agreed to pay more than $600 million to settle a civil insider-trading case in what the Securities and Exchange Commission said was its largest settlement involving such corruption on Wall Street.

CR Intrinsic Investors, a unit of the Connecticut-based giant SAC Capital Advisors, agreed to pay the penalties in a case stemming from trades involving an Alzheimer's treatment under development by two drug companies.

Friday's settlement involves SAC Capital and four other funds managed by CR Intrinsic and SAC. The settlement does not resolve the SEC's case against Mathew Martoma, a CR Intrinsic fund manager whom the agency also sued in November. He has denied wrongdoing in the case.

"The historic monetary sanctions against CR Intrinsic and its affiliates are sharp warning that the SEC will hold hedge fund advisory firms and their funds accountable when employees break the law to benefit the firm," George Canellos, acting director of SEC enforcement, said in a statement.

SAC Capital, a $15-billion hedge fund, is run by Steven A. Cohen, who has drawn interest from government investigators. The Martoma case has fueled speculation that the government sees Cohen as its ultimate target.

SAC spokesman Jonathan Gasthalter said in a statement: "Steve Cohen has not been charged with any wrongdoing and has done nothing wrong." -- MCT

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