Bloomberg News reports that the money-laundering complaint U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara filed against SAC Capital Advisors last week raised the prospect that all of the hedge fund’s $14 billion in assets may be subject to forfeiture.
'The government couldn’t put Steve (Cohen) in jail,' said Michael Bachner, a defense attorney and former New York prosecutor. 'But they decided to give his money the death penalty.'
Bharara seeks forfeiture of 'all right, title and interest' in all of SAC’s assets, should he prove his money-laundering case. Rulings interpreting the statute, however, suggest a less drastic outcome is possible for the Stamford, Connecticut-based hedge fund and its founder Steven Cohen.
Bharara wouldn’t say exactly how much he wanted to recover when he announced the lawsuit and SAC’s parallel indictment for insider trading. The law underlying the civil case states that any property involved in money-laundering activities, or traceable to them, can be forfeited.
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image: © David Niblack