SAC’s Steinberg Deserves Five Years in Prison, U.S. Says

May 12, 2014 9:01 am ET

(Updates with sentencing date in fourth paragraph.)

May 12 (Bloomberg) -- SAC Capital Advisors LP’s Michael Steinberg, convicted of insider trading in December, should be sentenced to more than five years in prison when he goes before a judge later this week, the U.S. said.

The government also seeks forfeiture of about $365,000. Steinberg’s lawyers this month said his sentence shouldn’t exceed two years. Federal sentencing guidelines call for 5 1/4 years to 6 1/2 years, prosecutors said in a court filing May 9.

“Steinberg benefited from a much more wide-ranging conspiracy in which multiple analysts pursued multiple sources,” the government said, rejecting Steinberg’s arguments that he’s the least culpable in the insider-trading scheme.

Steinberg is among eight current and former SAC employees convicted of in a government probe of insider trading at the hedge fund company. He is SAC’s longest-serving manager to be convicted. He is to be sentenced May 16.

A jury found him guilty of using illegal tips on technology stocks provided by his former securities analyst, Jon Horvath, to reap more than $1.4 million in illicit profit.

Horvath faces sentencing in September, according to court records. Matthew Martoma, a former SAC fund manager, is scheduled to be sentenced June 10.

Prosecutors called Martoma’s scheme, which netted SAC Capital $275 million, the biggest single insider-trading event in U.S. history.

Last month, a federal judge approved SAC’s $1.8 billion settlement of the probe. SAC Capital, which changed its name to Point72 Asset Management LP, pleaded guilty to reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal profits and fostering a culture of criminality that encouraged insider trading by its employees.

The case is U.S. v. Steinberg, 12-cr-00121, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan). The Martoma case is U.S. v. Martoma, 12-cr-00973, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan)