The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to make its $602 million settlement with SAC Capital Advisors hedge fund available to people who say they are victims of illicit trading by a former SAC portfolio manager, according to a lawyer representing them.
If the arrangement is approved by a federal judge, investors who held shares of two drug stocks in 2008 when the former SAC employee, Mathew Martoma, traded on secret tips about them, could try to claim some of the money.
Investors who held Elan, which is now owned by Perrigo Company Plc and Wyeth, now owned by Pfizer Inc, at that time and are now seeking the settlement money, have also sued SAC seeking around $2 billion.
“Our clients are very gratified by the SEC’s decision,” said Ethan Wohl, the lead attorney for investors in the lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, who is presiding over the SEC’s case, must still approve the SEC’s recommendation. After that, the parties will have to decide how to handle the distribution of the funds.
Victims will be able to claim amounts equivalent to the size of their losses, and any remaining money would go to the U.S. Treasury Department, Wohl said.
SAC is now called Point 72 Asset Management. A division of the hedge fund, CR Intrinsic Investors, agreed to pay the $602 million in March 2013 to settle the SEC’s civil case against it after Martoma was caught making the illegal trades.
A jury in a separate criminal case convicted Martoma of securities fraud and conspiracy in Manhattan federal court in February. He was sentenced on Sept. 8 to nine years in prison.
SAC admitted guilt in a second criminal case for which it paid additional penalties.
(Reporting By Emily Flitter; Editing by Grant McCool)