Steve Cohen is just an appeals court ruling away from fulfilling his most deeply held desire: to pay $602 million to settle allegations of insider-trading whose veracity he does not accept.
U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero tentatively approved the settlement in an order Monday. The 34-page ruling was made public Tuesday. Final approval depends on whether a federal appeals court rules that the SEC was justified in using similar boilerplate language in an earlier civil case against Citigroup Inc.
"The most prudent course the court sees open to it would be to approve the settlement subject to a condition that it would become final upon a definitive determination in the Citigroup appeal," the judge concluded.
It isn't clear when a ruling will be made on the appeal. But a three-judge panel in the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals hinted in March 2012 that it was likely to rule in favor of the SEC. The panel said it wasn't "the proper function of federal courts to dictate policy to executive administrative agencies."