As you may have heard, yesterday SAC Capital agreed to plead guilty to insider trading and pay a $1.2 billion fine (on top of the $600+ million it already paid) in order to make a federal investigation go away. The deal has been yet to be approved by a judge, and though there is not reason to believe it won't be, it's always possible things could fall through. For instance, Richard J. Sullivan might think Cohen should pay a fine greater than this year's take-home. He might want to force Cohen to wear a poster board that says "Loads of people have insider traded on my watch" in giant letters and walk up and down the streets of Greenwich, CT. He might take issue with the lack of fine print dictating that Cohen must obtain permission from Preet Bharara to use the little boy's room. He might want to ratchet up the punishment in any of these ways; in the event he does, Cohen will have a choice between agreeing to strapping on the sandwich board or saying no dice.
Under an unusual provision, the deal gives SAC Capital the option to withdraw its guilty plea should a federal judge overseeing the settlement not approve the fine print of the final agreement. Known in legal jargon as a “C-deal,” the provision effectively gives the firm an “out” should the judge decide that SAC deserves more punishment that is outlined in the agreement. “This is a significant concession to SAC,” said Daniel W. Levy, a former assistant prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, the same office that has handled the criminal investigation of SAC. “It’s rarely employed, and it’s largely good for defendants.”
SAC’s Guilty Plea Comes With An Escape Hatch [Newsweek]