SAC’s Martoma Faces Up to 20 Years at June 10 Sentencing (Bloomberg)
Martoma, 39, was convicted of two counts of securities fraud, which carries a maximum 20 year term, and one count of conspiracy, which has a maximum five year term. U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe may make each term concurrent, and has latitude to impose a significantly shorter sentence. The longest insider-trading term of 12 years was given to attorney Matthew Kluger in 2012 for a $37 million scheme. The second-longest of 11 years was imposed upon Galleon Group LLC co-founder Raj Rajaratnam for a $72 million scheme.
Hedge Funds Clash Over Argentina Debt (WSJ)
The two firms, Gramercy Funds Management LLC and Elliott Management Corp., have hundreds of millions of dollars at stake as Argentina tries to wrap up a saga that dates back to its decision to give up on its debt payments in December 2001. But the firms have taken conflicting tacks in trying to get their money back. Gramercy, which manages $3.9 billion, has been advising Argentina behind the scenes on how to restore its reputation with the international community and regain access to capital markets. In doing so, Gramercy has antagonized Elliott, a bigger firm that has been doing battle with Argentina for years. Famous for its bare-knuckled tactics with debtors, Elliott once tried to seize the plane of Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner during a fueling stop and impounded an Argentine Navy vessel.
AOL Chief Apologizes for ’Distressed Babies’ Comment (Bloomberg)
AOL’s chief executive officer had to backtrack on a 401(k) policy change, after his comments defending the idea fueled an employee outcry. Armstrong last week said AOL needed the retirement-plan tweak to help offset health-care costs, such as two employee pregnancies that resulted in “distressed babies” with more than $1 million each in medical expenses. Over the weekend, he reversed the 401(k) decision in a memo to employees. “We heard you on this topic,” Armstrong, 43, said in the memo. “I made a mistake and I apologize for my comments.” The mea culpa was Armstrong’s second in about six months for a public controversy. In August, he sent a memo to workers saying he was wrong for firing a creative director in front of a room full of employees, as well as a thousand others who were listening on a conference call.
ISS recommends Apple board votes no to Icahn plan (CNBC)
Apple shareholders should vote against a proposal by activist investor Carl Icahn for the tech giant to aggressively expand its stock repurchase, proxy advisory firm ISS said in a report released on Sunday. "(The Apple board) has returned the bulk of its U.S.-generated cash to shareholders via aggressive stock buybacks and dividends payouts," ISS said in the report. "In light of these good-faith efforts and its past stewardship, the board's latitude should not be constricted by a shareholder resolution that would micromanage the company's capital allocation process." [...] The activist investor has been gradually building up shares in Apple and late last month picked up another $500 million. "Mr. Icahn has no comment at this time, but plans to issue something before the market opens tomorrow [Monday]," a spokesperson for Ichan said in an email to CNBC.
Berlin: Shia LaBeouf Wears Paper Bag on Head to 'Nymphomaniac' Premiere (THR)
Shia LaBeouf topped off his headline-making day with a peculiar fashion statement on the red carpet at the Berlin Film Festival gala premiere for Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac, Volume I Sunday night. The actor accessorized his black tuxedo with a black bow tie and a paper bag with the words "I am not famous anymore" written in black paint on it. LaBeouf, 27, has been using the catchphrase repeatedly on his Twitter account for several weeks...Earlier in the day, LaBeouf abruptly walked out of a press conference after responding to just one question about being in a film with so many sex scenes. He slowly and deliberately said: "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much.” Then, he got up and left the room. The quote is from French soccer legend Eric Cantona, who said it at a press conference in 1995.
New Regulations Leave Buyout Shops Out on Their Own (WSJ)
Losing a bank's financial support presents a challenge for private-equity firms that used to be nestled within financial institutions. Out on their own, they must vie for investors' cash against big firms, such as Apollo Global Management LLC and Warburg Pincus LLC, that are coming off hugely profitable stretches. In general, newly independent firms have raised less on their own than when they had bank backing, even if they are exceeding their own goals, according to securities filings and private-equity executives.
Singapore Long-Only Hedge Funds Defy Capital Rut (Bloomberg)
Managers of long-only funds in Singapore that invest mainly in Asian stocks are winning client money, shrugging off difficulties in raising capital faced by smaller hedge funds in the region. Assets under management of such funds in the city-state that manage less then $500 million surged 410 percent to about $990 million from the end of 2010 through November, according to an estimate by research firm GFIA Pte. That compares with a 72 percent increase for all long-only funds focused on Asia, according to data provider Eurekahedge Pte.
A King Of The 'Rock' (NYP)
Larry Fink will take home in excess of $20 million for his Wall Street work last year.
Miami Bitcoin Arrests May Be First State Prosecution (Bloomberg)
Two South Florida men were arrested last week on what a local prosecutor said may be the first state law charges over the use of Bitcoin virtual currency as part of an alleged money laundering scheme. Pascal Reid, 29, and Michel Abner Espinoza, 30, face two counts of money laundering and one count of engaging in an unlicensed money servicing business, according to court filings in Miami state court. Both men were arrested Feb. 6 and are being held in Miami-Dade County jails. “The use of Bitcoins in the transactions is a new technological flourish to this very old crime,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. The “arrests may be the first state prosecutions involving the use of Bitcoins in money laundering operations.”
Michael Jackson estate embroiled in tax fight with IRS (LA Times)
The agency has told Jackson's executors that the estate owes $505 million in taxes and an additional $197 million in penalties, for a total of more than $702 million. According to documents filed with the U.S. Tax Court in Washington, Jackson's executors placed his net worth at the time of his June 2009 death at slightly more than $7 million. The IRS placed it at $1.125 billion, a difference so vast it looks like a typo. Jackson's return was so inaccurate, the IRS said, that it qualified for a gross valuation misstatement penalty, which would allow the government to double the usual 20% penalty for underpayment.