The once highflying hedge fund
U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in
"These crimes clearly were motivated by greed," Swain said.
The judge said nearly $400 million earned illegally by one of the companies was a "staggering amount," reflecting a corrupt corporate culture.
In a statement, U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara said, "Today marks the day of reckoning for a fund that was riddled with criminal conduct."
The government said most money managed by the defendants from 1999 through 2010 belonged to the hedge fund's billionaire owner and founder,
Assistant U.S. Atty. Antonia Apps told Swain that the $900-million fine levied under the deal was believed to be "the largest fine imposed in an insider-trading case in history." In court papers, prosecutors called it an appropriate punishment that sends a "strong message of deterrence" to potential insider traders.
Representing the companies, longtime SAC General Counsel Peter Nussbaum told Swain the companies "accept responsibility for the misconduct of our employees."
At the sentencing's outset, drug maker
The deal between SAC and the government did not resolve a civil case that the
The government brought the charges after concluding that numerous SAC portfolio managers and research analysts engaged in insider trading in at least 20 publicly traded stocks. It said the illicit trading was "substantial, pervasive and on a scale without known precedent in the hedge fund industry."
Of the roughly $15 billion in assets that SAC Capital managed last year before the charges were made public, about half belonged to Cohen and his employees and half was client money.