| NEW YORK, Sept 24
NEW YORK, Sept 24 A federal judge on Tuesday
pushed back the insider trading trial of former SAC Capital
Advisors portfolio manager Mathew Martoma to Jan. 6.
U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe delayed the trial,
originally scheduled for Nov. 4, at the request of Martoma's
lawyer, Richard Strassberg, who is taking part in another trial
starting this week.
Prosecutors charged Martoma last November with insider
trading in shares of the drug companies Elan and Wyeth,
which is now part of Pfizer. The companies were
collaborating on a new drug to treat Alzheimer's Disease.
Initially, prosecutors alleged that a doctor, identified in
a corresponding case brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission as neurologist Sidney Gilman, formed a close
relationship with Martoma and shared non-public information with
him while supervising a clinical trial of the new drug. Gilman
is cooperating with the investigation and agreed to pay a
Prosecutors have since expanded the case to say that Martoma
not only capitalized on Gilman's information but also sought
other insider sources through expert networking firms. They also
say a second doctor gave Martoma inside information.
Strassberg, Martoma's lawyer, is also representing Bank of
America Corp's Countrywide unit in a trial over
allegations that it defrauded Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with
shoddy home loans.
Because of proceedings in the Countrywide case, Strassberg
arrived, out of breath, in Gardephe's crowded courtroom an hour
after the scheduled 12:30 p.m. start of a hearing.
"Yes, I have arrived," Strassberg said, when the court
reporter asked if he was present.
Gardephe took the bench a few minutes later, and Strassberg
informed him that he had to return to the courtroom of U.S.
District Judge Jed Rakoff, who is presiding over the Countrywide
case, by 2 p.m.
After Gardephe set Jan. 6 for the start of the Martoma
trial, Strassberg requested the trial be pushed back to Jan. 13,
saying it would be difficult to prepare witnesses over the
holidays. Arlo Devlin-Brown, an assistant U.S. attorney
prosecuting the case, said he would have no problem with that.
"I personally appreciate this," Strassberg told Gardephe.
Gardephe said he would consider it if his schedule permits.
"I have my own trial calendar," Gardephe said.
Martoma is one of nine one-time employees of billionaire
Steven A. Cohen's hedge fund to be named in the government's
broad investigation of insider trading.
He was to be the first to face trial. Now, former SAC fund
manager Michael Steinberg will be the first to face trial,
scheduled to start Nov. 18. Antonia Apps, the
assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting that case, watched the
Martoma hearing Tuesday from the courtroom gallery.
SAC Capital itself was indicted in July on insider trading
charges. The firm has pleaded not guilty. Cohen has not been
The Martoma case is U.S. v. Martoma, U.S. District Court,
Southern District of New York, No. 12-cr-00973.