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SAC Capital portfolio manager arrested

A senior portfolio manager for one of the nation's largest hedge funds was arrested Friday, accused of joining an insider trading conspiracy that the government said made more than $6 million illegally for the powerhouse investment company founded by billionaire businessman Steven A. Cohen.

Michael Steinberg, 41, pleaded not guilty Friday, hours after he was arrested at his Manhattan apartment on insider trading charges lodged in an indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in New York City. The senior portfolio manager, who has worked more than 15 years at SAC Capital Advisors and its Sigma Capital Management unit, was released on $3 million bail.

His attorney, Barry Berke, said Steinberg "did absolutely nothing wrong." He said Steinberg's trading decisions were based on detailed analysis along with other information he properly obtained.

SAC Capital, which manages $15 billion, said Steinberg "has conducted himself professionally and ethically during his long tenure at the firm."

Prosecutors said he made more than $1.4 million illegally in connection with trades involving Dell and Nvidia in 2008 and 2009.

"Steinberg essentially got an advance copy of Dell and Nvidia's quarterly earnings announcements, allowing him to trade on tomorrow's news today," said George S. Canellos, acting director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement. -- AP

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