| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Feb 28 Former SAC Capital Advisors LP
portfolio manager Mathew Martoma asked a U.S. judge to throw out
his insider trading conviction, saying federal prosecutors did
not prove he committed a crime and that improper evidence and
jury bias tainted the verdict.
The request submitted late Thursday night in the U.S.
District Court in Manhattan was expected. It followed Martoma's
Feb. 6 conviction on two counts of securities fraud and one
count of conspiracy.
"This court should enter a judgment of acquittal on all
counts," Martoma, 39, told U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe,
who presided over the roughly month-long trial, in the filing.
In the alternative, Martoma said he deserves a new trial.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan
did not immediately respond on Friday to a request for comment.
Martoma was accused of seeking and trading on confidential
information about a clinical trial involving Ireland's Elan Corp
and Wyeth, now part of Pfizer Inc, over an
experimental drug to treat Alzheimer's disease.
Prosecutors said his trades enabled SAC, a hedge fund run by
billionaire Steven A. Cohen, to generate profit and avoid losses
of $275 million from trades in Elan and Wyeth before the trial's
results were announced in July 2008.
Martoma had worked in SAC's CR Intrinsic Investors unit.
Based on recent sentences in insider trading cases, he could
face several years in prison when he is sentenced on June 10.
Eight people who once worked for SAC have been convicted of
or pleaded guilty to insider trading. SAC no longer manages
outside money, and now oversees Cohen's $9 billion fortune.
Cohen has not been criminally charged.
In his filing, Martoma argued that he had independent
reasons to trade in Elan and Wyeth, including recommendations
from SAC healthcare analysts that both stocks were overpriced,
and that any tips he got were already public or immaterial.
He also said testimony from the octogenarian former
University of Michigan medical professor Sidney Gilman, who
testified to giving Martoma the clinical trial results, was
unreliable because of his patchy memory.
Martoma also said the jury was biased because of widespread
media attention during the trial to his 1999 expulsion from
Harvard Law School for doctoring a transcript.
The verdict against Martoma came after a different jury in
Manhattan convicted another SAC portfolio manager, Michael
Steinberg, over another insider trading scheme.
SAC agreed last year to pay $1.8 billion and plead guilty to
fraud stemming from employees' insider trading. Its sentencing
in the criminal case is set for March 14.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking to
bar Cohen from the financial services industry for failing to
supervise Martoma and Steinberg.
The case is U.S. v. Martoma, U.S. District Court, Southern
District of New York, No. 12-cr-00973.