SAC Capital soars above scandal to rake in returns

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Cohen

A criminal indictment can’t crush SAC Capital Advisors, at least when it comes to what’s most important in Hedgeworld: returns.

Steven A. Cohen’s hedge fund was up about 13% this year as of last Friday, thanks to an especially smashing September, a source tells Reuters.

That’s more than three times better than the average hedge fund, which was up about 4% on the year through August, seriously slumping the broad S&P 500 stock market index which jumped about 15% during the same period.

Then again, SAC’s proven to be anything but average in recent months.

Federal prosecutors indicted the firm in July, claiming cheating by traders there was “substantial, pervasive and on a scale without precedent in the hedge fund industry.”

Cohen wasn’t charged criminally, even as eight current or former employees of SAC were hit with insider trading charges. Six have already pleaded guilty.

The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Cohen personally, alleging he failed to supervise the two employees who are still facing trial: Mathew Martoma and Michael Steinberg.

SAC agreed in March to pay a record $616 million fine and settled two civil insider trading cases brought by the SEC.

But that taint’s not enough to tarnish SAC’s track record or crunch Cohen’s own coffers.

With a net worth of $9.4 billion, Cohen ranks as America’s fifth wealthiest hedge fund manager and remains one of 28 hedge fund managers to make this year’s Forbes 400.

Now rumor has it that federal prosecutors have proposed settling the criminal case against SAC for $1.5 billion to $2 billion.

Even that hefty fine wouldn’t be enough to knock Cohen off the billionaire’s block.

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