| NEW YORK, April 4
NEW YORK, April 4 Mathew Martoma, a former
portfolio manager at hedge fund SAC Capital Management, has
hired a new lawyer to defend him in his insider-trading case.
Martoma has brought in Richard Strassberg at Goodwin Procter
to take over his defense, a spokesman for the law firm confirmed
on Thursday. The former fund manager previously was represented
by Charles Stillman, a prominent New York white-collar lawyer
with Stillman & Friedman.
In an affidavit filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court in
Manhattan, Strassberg said Martoma sought to replace his lawyers
because of Goodwin Procter's "expertise in the subject matter of
Martoma is one of several current or former SAC Capital
employees charged with insider trading while working at the $15
billion hedge fund run by billionaire Steven A. Cohen. Cohen has
not been charged with any wrongdoing
Michael Steinberg, a veteran SAC portfolio manager, was
charged last week with insider trading in two technology stocks.
He has pleaded not guilty.
Martoma has been charged with conspiracy and securities
fraud related to trades in Elan Corporation Plc and
Wyeth, which now is part of Pfizer Inc.
U.S. authorities said the trades were made based on illegal
tips from a doctor and allowed CR Intrinsic Investors, an SAC
fund, to earn profits and dodge losses of $276 million in 2008.
Martoma has also been charged in a related civil action by
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Strassberg is a former chief of the major crimes unit at the
Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office.
He previously represented former Deutsche Bank trader
Jon-Paul Rorech in a civil insider trading case by the SEC
involving credit default swaps. A federal judge dismissed the
case in 2010 following a bench trial.
More recently, Strassberg represented Swiss bank Wegelin &
Co, which pleaded guilty earlier this year to helping wealthy
U.S. citizens evade taxes.
U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe approved Martoma's lawyer
switch on Thursday, court records show. The judge is expected to
set a trial date at a June 5 hearing.
SAC has agreed to pay $616 million to settle two civil SEC
actions over insider-trading allegations. One of the
settlements, for $602 million, is with CR Intrinsic and stems
from the Martoma case.
While a smaller $14 million settlement with another SAC fund
has received judicial approval, U.S. District Judge Victor
Marrero in Manhattan on March 28 questioned the CR Intrinsic
deal and did not immediately approve it.
The case is USA v. Martoma, U.S. District Court, Southern
District of New York, No. 12-00973.