Federal prosecutors preparing to charge SAC Capital - WSJ

July 23 Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:09pm EDT

July 23 (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors are preparing to announce criminal charges as early as this week against Steven A. Cohen's hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors LP, which is being probed for alleged insider trading, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The action is anticipated barring any last-minute pact with SAC or other reversal of government strategy, the Journal cited the people as saying.

Prosecutors, however, are not planning to file charges against Cohen personally, the people told the paper. ()

Cohen is already fighting a noncriminal proceeding brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month accusing him of ignoring "red flags of potentially unlawful conduct." The SEC contends that two SAC portfolio managers elicited inside information on Dell Inc in 2008.

Reuters earlier reported that Cohen's legal team claims the hedge fund titan was simply too busy to notice some of his employees may have been using inside information to make trades in shares of the computer company.

A spokesman for SAC did not have an immediate comment on the Journal report when contacted by Reuters. A spokesman at the Federal Bureau of Investigation declined to comment.