Cohen is not likely to testify at Martoma’s trial next month, citing his Constitutional right against self-incrimination. But Martoma’s lawyers would like his testimony from last year to speak for him—and to show that Martoma had nothing to do with the trades that led to his indictment. In a pre-trial motion, Martoma’s lawyers cited Cohen’s statements that he elected to sell the firm’s stake in pharmaceutical company Wyeth LLC not because Martoma suggested he do so—but because former SAC trader Wayne Holman did. Holman, who ran the defunct Ridgeback Capital Management, had a $20 million consulting deal, and Cohen said that the week SAC sold Wyeth, Holman “was telling me he was selling his Wyeth.” [FINalternatives]

Earlier in the day, before Mr. Berke began his cross-examination, Mr. Horvath testified that after Diamondback and two other hedge funds were raided by federal authorities in fall 2010, Mr. Steinberg coached him about how to talk to the Federal Bureau of Investigation if approached by any agents. Mr. Horvath said his former boss told him if the F.B.I. asks about the kind of information Mr. Tortora provided on Dell, just say it was “O.K.” Mr. Horvath said Mr. Steinberg flew to a conference he was attending in Arizona to personally deliver that message. “He just walked straight up to me,” Mr. Horvath said, adding that his then boss didn’t even say hello before bringing up the F.B.I. [Dealbook]

Pro: Cohen gets concrete evidence we’re working our tails off. Con: He rips our throats out for implicating him in the crime. Pro: His lips say “tell me.” Con: His eyes say, “keep your mouth shut.” Pro: I can maybe cut a deal with the prosecutors some day. Con: I may be driven out to the docks. Read more »

The 37-year-old Tortora, testifying for the third day in the case against SAC top money man Michael Steinberg, said his big year at now defunct hedge fund Diamondback was 2008, when his compensation hit $2.5 million. He only made $800,000 in 2009 and left the firm that was founded by former SAC portfolio managers early in 2010. Tortora, who is living with his parents in Florida while he awaits sentencing for his cooperation in the Steinberg trial, said he has only $100,000 left from his years of living high as a hedge-fund analyst. While the financial crash decimated portfolios of millions of Americans in 2008, that was Tortora’s big year, when insider trading tips about Dell, among others, paid off. Steinberg traded on that insider tip and knew it was illegal, prosecutors allege. Tortora said he lost $400,000 day trading and “several hundred thousands” in Las Vegas on blackjack and sports betting. He said he has also spent $400,000 on legal fees since his arrest on insider trading charges. While at Diamondback, he also fed insider tips to his stepfather, who did not know they were illegal. “In general, he’s done poorly,” Tortora told the jury. “He has lost a good amount of money.” [NYP]

The government gave hints Thursday of its strategy in the criminal case against SAC Capital Advisors LP portfolio manager Michael Steinberg, disclosing that its first witness will be the hedge-fund firm’s chief financial officer, Daniel Berkowitz. The trial, which starts next week in federal court in Manhattan, could provide the most detailed look yet at the inner workings of the giant hedge fund. It comes on the heels of SAC’s landmark $1.8 billion settlement with the government over insider-trading allegations. [WSJ]

[Steve] Cohen was among the roughly 2,400 people who attended Christie’s victory bash at the Asbury Park Convention Hall, as well as a private dinner Christie had with a handful of supporters, according to people close to Cohen with direct knowledge of the matter. Cohen was one of the few who received a personal invitation from the governor to attend, these people say. Further raising eyebrows is that the invitation came just hours after Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara announced a plea deal with Cohen’s hedge fund that includes the largest fine in the history of insider-trading cases, a guilty plea and an agreement by SAC to end its business of managing money for outside clients…Christie and Cohen are said to be friends; one person with direct knowledge of the matter said the New Jersey governor had heard that Cohen was depressed amid the legal pressure, including last week’s guilty plea, and “told Steve to get off his couch” urging Cohen to attend his victory celebration. Cohen reluctantly agreed, this person said.Charlie Gasparino, Fox Business

November 4, 2013. Christie Re-election Headquarters. The governor is talking to reporters about the following day’s election, which he is all but certain to win. As we enter, he is answering a question from the Bergen County Times.

Christie: “…well you can tell him that if he wants to be an idiot, that’s his prerogative. If he wants to be an idiot that’s fine, but not in my state. You wanna be an idiot? Get the hell out of New Jersey.”

An aide approaches Christie, hands him a folded up note, and whispers something in his ear. A look of consternation passes over the Governor’s face. Christie apologizes and tells the reporters he’s going to have to cut things short, then exits stage right and walks into a conference room, shutting the door behind him. Read more »

  • 06 Nov 2013 at 4:04 PM

Steve Cohen On Tape: The Scorecard

Several years back, SAC Capital manager Steve Cohen sat for two days of deposition as part of a lawsuit filed by Canadian insurer Fairfax Financial filed against a group of hedge funds that included SAC. At one point, Cohen was questioned about insider trading, his fund’s policy on insider trading, and his personal views on insider trading, as reported by Reuters at the time the transcripts were unsealed. Recently, PBS obtained video footage of the deposition and published it today, perhaps wanting to wait for a really good time in Cohen’s life to do so. Is it even more awkward to watch Cohen discuss rules about insider trading than simply read what he said? You betcha! Is it the most awkward thing to ever watch Cohen do on tape? Including the time he appeared on an English version of the talk show “Cristina” with his second wife to talk about his first? Let’s find out. Read more »