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Martoma, SAC Unit in First Court Hearing in SEC Insider Suit

Lawyers for Mathew Martoma and SAC Capital Advisors LP’s CR Intrinsic unit appeared in court for the first time in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission suit over an alleged $276 million insider-trading scheme.

“We see this as a relatively straightforward insider trading case,” said SEC lawyer Charles Riely, introducing the case in a court conference before U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero today in Manhattan.

Marrero didn’t immediately set a schedule for pretrial proceedings in the case. He set another conference for May 24.

Martoma, 38, faces related criminal charges of conspiracy and securities fraud for allegedly using inside information about a clinical drug trial to help trade in Elan Corp. and Wyeth LLC. He has pleaded not guilty. Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for Stamford, Connecticut-based SAC, has said the firm and its founder, Steven A. Cohen, did nothing improper.

In addition to Martoma and CR Intrinsic, the SEC originally sued University of Michigan neurologist Sid Gilman, claiming he passed the alleged illegal tips to Martoma. Gilman has signed a non-prosecution agreement with U.S. prosecutors and agreed to settle the SEC case.

The case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. CR Intrinsic Investors LLC, 12-cv-8466, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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