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Hedge fund portfolio manager arrested in US

A senior portfolio manager for one of the largest US hedge funds was arrested today.

Written by Associated Press | New York | March 30, 2013 3:08:01 am

A senior portfolio manager for one of the largest US hedge funds was arrested today on charges of making USD 1.4 million illegally in a widening insider trading probe involving an investment company founded by billionaire businessman Steven A. Cohen.

Michael Steinberg,41,pleaded not guilty today,hours after he was arrested at his Manhattan home on insider trading charges lodged in an indictment unsealed in US District Court in New York City. He is a senior portfolio manager at SAC Capital Advisors.

His attorney,Barry Berke,said in a statement that Steinberg “did absolutely nothing wrong”. He said Steinberg’s trading decisions were based on detailed analysis along with other information he properly obtained.

In a statement,SAC Capital,which manages USD 15 billion,said Steinberg “has conducted himself professionally and ethically during his long tenure at the firm. We believe him to be a man of integrity”.

US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement that Steinberg “was another Wall Street insider who fed off a corrupt grapevine of proprietary and confidential information cultivated by other professionals who made their own rules to make money”.

George Venizelos,head of the FBI’s New York office,said the arrest was the latest in a probe by its sleuths that has resulted in more than 70 arrests.

“Mr Steinberg was at the centre of an elite criminal club,where cheating and corruption were rewarded,” he said.

At least four other people associated with the Stamford,Connecticut-based firm have been arrested over a period of about four years.

The arrest of Steinberg and the January arrest of a former hedge fund portfolio manager for an affiliate of Cohen’s firm has increased speculation that the government is taking a hard look at the practices of the billionaire hedge fund owner.

On March 15,the SEC said that two affiliates of SAC Capital Advisors would pay more than USD 614 million in what federal regulators called the largest insider trading settlement ever. The settlement is subject to court approval.

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