Bharara to crack down on firms that repeatedly break laws

NEW YORK, July 17 Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:55am EDT

NEW YORK, July 17 (Reuters) - Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said investment firms that repeatedly violate the law should be concerned that they will eventually be held accountable.

"People should be afraid that bad actions they have committed in the past" will catch up with them, Bharara said at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference.

Fielding a wide array of questions, Bharara said that some firms' compliance programs are clearly just offering lip service and that his office is as committed as ever to crack down on how hedge funds use illegally obtained information to get an edge.

He said that at some point institutions that have had multiple violations must be held accountable.

Asked several times by CNBC cable television host Jim Cramer about the insider trading investigation into hedge fund titan Steven A. Cohen and his SAC Capital Advisors, Bharara declined to comment.

The long-running investigation of insider trading at hedge funds and specifically at SAC Capital has been one of the high priorities of Bharara's tenure as U.S. Attorney.

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