U.S. prosecutors face a deadline next week that may force them to tip their hand on whether they’re in plea talks with an ex-SAC Capital Advisors LP manager to get him to testify against founder Steven Cohen about insider trading.
Bloomberg reports that federal speedy-trial rules require Manhattan prosecutors to secure a grand jury indictment by Dec. 26 against portfolio manager Mathew Martoma, who was charged in a complaint November 20th with making illegal trades on two drug company stocks after receiving confidential tips.
Martoma, 38, may agree to postpone the U.S. deadline. If he does, prosecutors requesting the adjournment sometimes tell the presiding judge whether the two sides are in plea talks, or at least provide some hint of negotiations.
'There are all types of reasons why they could adjourn the case', said Stephen Miller, a former federal prosecutor in New York and Philadelphia. 'It gives the government more time to investigate the case and to negotiate all types of plea deals'.
In what U.S. prosecutors call the 'most lucrative' insider scheme ever, Martoma was accused of trading on shares of Elan Corp. and Wyeth LLC based on tips he got from Sidney Gilman, a University of Michigan neurologist.
Gilman, 80, oversaw a clinical trial of an Alzheimer’s drug by Wyeth and Elan and allegedly passed the results to Martoma before the disappointing news became public, prosecutors said. The trades netted $276m in profits and avoided losses for SAC affiliate CR Intrinsic Investors, prosecutors said.
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image: © Lisamarie Babik