NEW YORK – A former SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager was convicted Thursday of helping the company owned by billionaire Steven A. Cohen earn more than a quarter-billion dollars illegally through trades based on secrets about the testing of a potential breakthrough Alzheimer’s drug.
The verdict capped a monthlong trial that featured testimony from two prominent doctors who confessed to spilling secrets to Mathew Martoma during paid consultations in the summer of 2008.
Martoma was expressionless as the jury forewoman announced he was guilty of two counts of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. No sentencing date was set.
When prosecutors announced the case in November 2012, they said it may be the most lucrative insider trading scheme of all time.
The trial also put a spotlight on Cohen, showing he had a 20-minute phone call with Martoma a day before the Stamford, Conn.-based firm began selling a large position in pharmaceutical stocks that enabled what prosecutors said were mammoth illegal profits.
Martoma is the eighth portfolio manager or research analyst at SAC Capital to be convicted or plead guilty to criminal charges in an insider trading case.
SAC Capital pleaded guilty in November to fraud charges and agreed to pay $1.8 billion to settle charges that it allowed, if not encouraged, insider trading for more than a decade.
Martoma attorney Richard Strassberg said after the verdict they were disappointed and planned to appeal.