Reuters has the humdinger story of the day. What’s mostly a profile of FBI agent B.J. Kang breaks quite a bit of very interesting news on what Kang is up to.
First of all, the biggie: Matthew Goldstein and Svea Herbst-Bayliss report that hedge-fund giant SAC Capital may have attracted the attention of the FBI as part of the widening Galleon insider-trading scandal case.
The FBI’s Kang has already looked at SAC twice before, three years ago in the Fairfax case, and two years ago in a trading case. Charges weren’t filed. Any findings of insider trading at SAC would be a blockbuster, and Reuters reports that at least two are prepared to testify on that.
Here’s where it gets juicy. Reuters uncovers documents from a lawsuit a former SAC employee filed, alleging that a powerful trader had “forced him to perform oral sex on him before completing a trade” and “ordered him to take female hormones to turn him into ‘the ideal analyst/trader,’ combining both male and female characteristics.”
And, um, other stuff. If you want to read more on that, Jessica Pressler has pulled some of the crazier stuff in a blog post at New York and Bess Levin has more at Dealbreaker. Some of this was out a couple of years ago but it had since been sealed.
The sex stuff is, of course, interesting, but on a financial level this is better:
In early 2006, according to the court papers, Jiang directed Tong and at least two other SAC employees to take part in a manipulative trading scheme involving shares of China Yuchai International Ltd., a Chinese-based diesel engine manufacturing company. The court papers suggest the hedge fund took a short position in shares of China Yuchai; betting the stock would fall in price. The papers say Tong and others then began “manufacturing false negative analytical reports about CYD to facilitate this manipulation.”
Which is exactly what Fairfax alleged SAC and others did to it. So is this just a disgruntled employee or is there a there there? Well, Tong isn’t the only one alleging insider trading at SAC. There’s also Richard Choo-Beng Lee, who’s a cooperating witness, and more are under scrutiny (emphasis mine):
Lawyers, hedge fund traders and others with knowledge of the ongoing investigation say the agent and federal prosecutors are now focused on a number of former SAC employees whose names have cropped up during the Galleon phase of the inquiry and who also may have engaged in insider trading.
Lee, one of five cooperating witnesses in the Galleon case, is prepared to tell authorities about any insider trading he may have engaged in while working as a technology analyst at SAC from 1999 to 2004, according to a court filing.
It’s worth noting that this stuff wasn’t easy to get.
The case file was quickly sealed by the trial judge, making it difficult for reporters to get a glimpse at all the salacious allegations.
After the litigation ended last year, without any money exchanging hands, the court filings were quietly unsealed.
This is one to watch.Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.