Investors to Cash Out Up to $4 billion from SAC Capital

Michael Teague  |

With SAC Capital’s deadline for withdrawals for the year having passed on Sunday, the beleaguered Steve Cohen could find himself on Monday with less than $1 billion of the $6 billion with which the hedge fund started out the year.

The fund was hit hard during the first quarter as a five-year long government investigation of claims of insider trading approached the statute of limitations deadline for filing a suit against the company. Regulators believe that their evidence has led them without question to SAC’s legendary founder Steve Cohen.

As the government’s investigation has tightened around Cohen in recent weeks. He was served a subpoena to appear before a Federal grand jury, after which he announced that he would no longer be unconditionally cooperating with the probe. Shortly thereafter, news emerged that Cohen was considering an offer to the government to turn his company into a private entity that would manage only his own funds, which if accepted, would amount to a deferred prosecution agreement that would allow him to pay a fine and admit guilt or wrongdoing in the affair without any further legal consequences.

As the news for Cohen and SAC has gone from bad to worse, investors have responded accordingly. Already, during the first quarter SAC saw $1.68 billion in withdrawals, with up to another $4 billion in requests expected by Sunday’s deadline.

Blackstone Group LP (BX) has been one of the highest-profile investors so far to allegedly pull a majority of its $550 million out of the company. San Francisco’s Ironwood Capital Management has also signaled its intention to remove its $100 million.

SAC netted some $276 million in profits since the investigation began in 2008, to say nothing of losses that were avoided potentially as a result of improperly used information. In March, the Securities and Exchange Commission won a civil suit against SAC that saw the hedge fund pay over $600 million in damages.

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