NEW YORK, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- U.S. hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors has agreed to plead guilty to insider trading and pay a record fine, knowledgeable sources told The Wall Street Journal.
Marking a turn in the regulatory approach to financial industry malfeasance, the firm will plead guilty, rather than pay a fine and dodge any admission of wrongdoing. In addition, the firm, which will also be barred from managing outside funds, will pay a record $1.2 billion penalty for what the Securities and Exchange Commission has called pervasive insider trading.
Firm founder Steven A. Cohen, whose initials create the firm's name, will remain under investigation, although no charges are pending at this time, the Journal said. Unless there is a surprise turn to the investigation in the future, he is not going to be charged with a crime although regulators have accused the hedge fund of permitting an illegal insider trading culture to thrive at the firm.
Six former SAC employees have pleaded guilty to insider trading and trials for two others are scheduled to begin soon.
The $1.2 billion penalty was assessed above and beyond a $616 million fine already levied this year in a civil case filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission for insider trading.
An announcement on the settlement is expected at the end of the week or early next week, as attorneys are still fine tuning the agreement.
Either way, the firm will be reduced from an admired hedge fund with $15 billion in assets under management to a company that manages the private wealth belonging to its founder.