SAC Capital’s Cohen Seeks Halt of Ex-Wife’s Lawsuit

A lawyer for SAC Capital Advisors LP founder Steven Cohen urged a judge to dismiss a lawsuit by his ex-wife, who claims he ran his hedge fund as a racketeering enterprise.

Patricia Cohen sued her ex-husband in 2009, claiming Stamford, Connecticut-based SAC engaged in insider trading, bank fraud, money laundering and other acts that violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Patricia Cohen called SAC “the product of an ongoing racketeering scheme.”

The suit is “basically a matrimonial claim” that should be heard in state court, Martin Klotz, a lawyer for Steven Cohen, told U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan yesterday.

The suit was dismissed in 2011 by U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell, who said Patricia Cohen took too long to bring her claims. In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York reinstated the case, saying it was filed in time. Without ruling on the merits, the court found that she properly asserted her claims that her ex-husband violated the racketeering law, committed fraud and breached his fiduciary duty.

While the case was on appeal, Holwell left the bench for private practice. The case was reassigned to Pauley.

Third Revision

In September, Pauley said he would permit Patricia Cohen to amend the suit for a third time to add a claim against Steven Cohen’s brother, an accountant who is a defendant in the case, and to fix a paragraph in the complaint that refers to the court’s jurisdiction.

SAC agreed to close its investment advisory business as part of a $1.8 billion deal announced Nov. 4 to end a criminal probe and a money-laundering lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in New York has called SAC “a veritable magnet for market cheaters.”

Steven Cohen faces an administrative claim accusing him of failing to properly supervise trading by employees. He hasn’t been charged.

The case is Cohen v. Cohen, 09-cv-10230, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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