Add another Ex-SAC Analyst caught up in Blackstone Insider Probe

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by ASusilovic, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. NEW YORK (Reuters)—Add another name to the list of former staffers at Steven Cohen's $13 billion hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors to draw scrutiny in a federal investigation into insider trading on Wall Street.

    A year ago, federal regulators accused a former Blackstone Group investment banker, Ramesh Chakrapani, of tipping off a friend—referred to as "tippee 1" in a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint—about the 2006 buyout of the Albertsons supermarket chain.

    Until now the identity of that friend has been a mystery. But Reuters has learned from three people familiar with the Chakrapani case that he is Jonathan Hollander, a 34-year-old former analyst at SAC.

    The sources also confirmed that the firm where the trading in question took place in January 2006 is CR Intrinsic Investors, an SAC subsidiary.

    In court papers, regulators contend that the Albertsons tip resulted in a series of trades that generated $91,000 in profits for the friend and his parents, as well as $3.5 million in trading profits for his firm.

    Mr. Hollander, who worked for nearly four years as a junior analyst with CR Intrinsic before leaving in December 2008, declined to comment in an e-mail message. His attorney, Aitan Goelman, similarly declined to comment.

    Neither Mr. Hollander nor SAC have been charged with wrongdoing in any insider trading investigation.

    SAC spokesman Jonathan Gasthalter says the hedge fund began looking into the allegations involving Mr. Hollander and the fund's trading in Albertsons stock after the SEC charged Mr. Chakrapani in January 2009.

    "After reviewing the initial complaint in this matter, SAC thoroughly investigated this former employee's trading in Albertsons and, on its own initiative, presented the findings to government authorities in February 2009," said Mr. Gasthalter. "We have cooperated fully with the government's investigation and will continue to do so."

    The sources familiar with the matter said Mr. Hollander's involvement in the Chakrapani case is another piece in the puzzle for federal prosecutors in New York who are focusing their attention on the activities of several former traders and analysts who either worked at Mr. Cohen's SAC or at hedge funds that got money from his firm.

    Insider trading is notoriously tough to prove, and the Chakrapani complaint may end up going nowhere.

    Indeed, the SEC is moving to dismiss its case against Mr. Chakrapani, though the agency says it could refile civil charges against the banker later on.

    Philadelphia Story

    The Chakrapani case is separate from the big insider trading investigation that led to the arrest this fall of Galleon Management co-founder Raj Rajaratnam and more than a dozen other traders, tech company executives and consultants.

    In fact, there are significant differences between the Chakrapani and Galleon cases. Perhaps most significantly, none of the evidence in the Chakrapani case came from telephone wiretaps, which were used to great effect in the investigation into Mr. Rajaratnam.

    Instead, the SEC case against Mr. Chakrapani, according to court filings and people familiar with the investigation, largely rests on testimony of a key cooperating witness, and matching trading records in Albertsons stock with the timing of some 20 phone calls and 18 text messages between Mr. Chakrapani and Mr. Hollander in early January 2006.

    The SEC attorneys filing the Chakrapani lawsuit come from the agency's Philadelphia regional office. The SEC lawyers in the Galleon case are based in New York and Washington.

    One cooperating witness in the Galleon investigation, former SAC tech analyst Richard Choo-Beng Lee, has agreed to tell prosecutors of any insider trading he may have done at SAC, when he worked at the hedge fund from 1999 to 2004.

    Other former employees of SAC or hedge funds backed by the firm who have been linked to the Galleon probe in either court filings or by people familiar with the inquiry include: Richard Grodin, Mark Adams and Steven Fortuna.
  2. He had bad chakras. :cool: