The SEC Is Giving Money Back, You Guys

The SEC is writing one hedge fund a check for $21.5M and the memo line says "Oops! Our bad."

Can't be undone.

When Preet Bharara had hedge fund Level Global Investors’ offices raided and one of its co-founders arrested as part of his foiled quest to destroy Steve Cohen, he put an end to a plucky little business with 65 employees and a top executive with very little regard for the truth and a taste for the school-yard ad hominem attack.

You see, when Preet turned Level Global analyst Sam Adondakis, he helped ensure that the aforementioned co-founder, Anthony Chiasson, was all but cooked on insider-trading charges before a jury of his peers. And once Adondakis and Chiasson were certifiable felons, the rotting corpse of Level Global had no choice but to cut the SEC a check for $21.5 million.

One problem: As it turns out, no matter what Adondakis said he did and no matter what a jury said Chiasson did, it wasn’t insider trading. Which is a little awkward, we think you’ll agree.

Well, Preet can’t exactly give Chiasson and co-founder/former unindicted co-conspirator/empty-nester David Ganek their firm back. But the SEC can give the $21.5 million back. And it won’t even fight to keep it.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to refund a $21.5 million settlement that hedge fund Level Global entered into in 2013 to resolve allegations that it profited from trades on corporate secrets about Dell Inc. and other technology firms. Experts said that the refund may be unprecedented….

Late Friday, a lawyer filing a request in the name of Level Global cited the decision and asked a federal court in New York to vacate the previous settlement and order the SEC to return the money it paid: $21,514,275.63. That number included around $10 million in profits the fund allegedly made on the trades, and an additional penalty.

On Monday, the SEC filed a letter with the court saying it was not opposed to the request.

SEC Expected to Give Unusual Refund for Insider-Trading Penalty [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]
Hedge fund nears rate insider trading settlement refund with SEC [Reuters]