SAC Capital Advisors Investigation |
United States


SAC Capital Advisors Investigation

  • The full statement of the FBIs George Venizelos, the assistant director in charge of the New York field office: 

    "This is a case about corporate conduct and corporate responsibility. The indictment says it best: Illegal conduct by employees, and institutional indifference, resulted in  insider trading that was substantial, pervasive, and on a scale without known precedent.'

    SAC Capital and its management fostered a culture of permissiveness. To be blunt, SAC – through the actions and inactions of its management – not only tolerated cheating, it encouraged it. Management at SAC Capital, including the firm’s owner, actively recruited portfolio managers and research analysts with access to inside information.

    Once hired, these employees were rewarded financially for passing on inside information to the SAC owner. Repeatedly they described their information “edge” as “contacts at the company” or “my guy at” such-and-such company. 

    Compliance at SAC, to the extent that it existed, was woefully inadequate. That is to say, it was woefully inadequate to the task of monitoring and preventing the acquisition and use of
    inside information.

    The compliance department did enable SAC Capital to say it had a compliance department.
    And the compliance department was effective in explaining away potentially troublesome employee e-mails that seemed to describe access to inside information.

    The e-mails were typically documented as being simply the result of careless writing by a portfolio manager or analyst. Essentially, the compliance people were saying, “This e-mail isn’t evidence of inside information; it’s just badly written.

    Despite a history of insider trading at SAC Capital – including the conduct that resulted in the six guilty pleas outlined in the indictment – SAC’s compliance department uncovered just one single case of employee insider trading in its entire history. 

    The SAC compliance department was like the embodiment of the phrase, “See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil.” The charges against the corporate entity are serious crimes. The indictment recounts the history of systemic, institutional insider trading at SAC Capital over a period of more than a decade. 

    The government brings charges based on the evidence. We didn’t draw a target on SAC Capital, or anyone who worked there. Today’s charges grew out of years of work by our two offices.

    These investigations have already led to dozens of people being charged with insider trading. Information developed in one case often forms the predication for the next one.
    We will continue to work with the U.S. Attorney and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    'Our aim all along has been to root out the wrongdoers, and send a message to anyone else inclined to break the law. If your information ‘edge’ is inside information, you can’t trade on it.'"

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