SAC Capital Advisors LP fund manager Michael Steinberg’s insider-trading trial began with a Manhattan federal judge questioning about 100 potential jurors about their views on Wall Street, fund managers and financial fraud.
Steinberg, 41, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud one and four counts of securities fraud stemming from what Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said was a scheme that ran from late 2007 to 2009 and reaped more than $1.4 million through trading on illegal tips on Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) and Dell Inc.
Today, U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan presented a pool of about 100 prospective jurors with a questionnaire that includes the names of about 38 people, including Jon Horvath, Steinberg’s former research analyst. Horvath has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the U.S. Prosecutors have said he will testify against his former boss.
Several people from the pool said they worked for hedge funds, including one man who said he’d been investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and another who’d been probed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Both said they have strong views about regulatory investigations. Another man said he had been a demonstrator and a participant in the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Sullivan told lawyers in the case that he will begin to individually question prospective jurors outside the presence of others in the pool when court resumes after lunch.
“We’re going to have a lot of issues with these people and will have to follow up with quite a lot of them,” Sullivan told the attorneys.
The case is U.S. v. Steinberg, 12-cr-00121, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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