SAC Capital's Steinberg Clear to Manage Money as SEC Drops Bar

  • Wall Street regulator grants request to drop industry ban
  • Dismissal follows court decision narrowing insider trading

Former SAC Capital Advisors LP fund manager Michael Steinberg could make a finance-industry comeback after U.S. regulators withdrew an industry ban that was tied to now-rescinded criminal charges against him for insider trading.

The Securities and Exchange Commission granted Steinberg’s request to remove the industry wide bar after federal prosecutors dropped their case against him in October. The U.S. government abandoned the charges after an appeals court ruled that to be convicted of insider trading, defendants must know their tips came from someone who not only had a duty to keep the information secret but also got a benefit for leaking it.

With the ban dropped, Steinberg is free to start managing money again, though he voluntarily agreed to sit out from the industry until an SEC civil lawsuit against him is resolved.

Steinberg, who handled technology, media and telecommunications stocks at SAC Capital’s Sigma Capital Management unit, was found guilty in 2013 of an insider trading scheme involving tech stocks that garnered more than $1.8 million in profits. He was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison. He still faces the civil suit from the SEC.

Barry Berke, a lawyer for Steinberg, didn’t immediately return voicemail or e-mail messages seeking comment about the decision. SEC spokeswoman Judith Burns declined to comment.

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