On Wednesday, Michael Steinberg appeared to almost pass out in court just minutes before a federal jury announced that it had found him guilty of insider trading.The 41-year-old becomes the most senior former member of SAC Capital Advisors to be convicted by prosecutors. The government argued that Steinberg used insider trading during his time at SAC to gain an advantage over ordinary, unprivileged investors. The jury deliberated for just two days, the New York Times notes.
SAC has been under scrutiny over allegations of insider trading stretching over a decade. Recently, the firm, run by billionaire investor Steven A. Cohen, made a deal with prosecutors to pay $1.2 billion in fines after pleading guilty to charges of insider trading.
Despite the SAC plea, law enforcement agencies continue to probe other SAC principals, including Cohen. So far, Cohen is not facing any allegations of criminal activity. Steinberg’s conviction has raised the possibility that he could make a deal with prosecutors to aid their investigations.
Still, Cohen has been sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is hoping to bar him from the securities industry. It is lawsuit, the SEC contends that Cohen did not prevent illicit activities at SAC by properly oversee SAC employees.
Steinberg has been released on bail and will likely appeal. He is expected to receive a relatively light sentence on April 25, though the conviction could put him in prison for up to 85 years.