NEW YORK, Sept 3 A lead prosecutor in the U.S.
government's insider trading investigation of hedge fund SAC
Capital Advisors has left the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office
to join the law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.
Antonia Apps, who helped secure a $1.2 billion criminal plea
deal from Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital last year and the
December conviction of SAC portfolio manager Michael Steinberg,
will join Milbank as a partner, the New York firm announced
Apps, who prosecuted more than 20 insider trading
defendants, said in an interview she believed the cases she and
other prosecutors under Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara
had pursued in recent years had helped deter wrongdoing.
Since Bharara took office in 2009, 81 people have been
convicted of insider trading.
"The question that often comes up is whether there is any
deterrence," she said. "I believe in deterrence, and I believe
Apps, 45, joined the U.S. Attorney's office in 2007 from the
Washington law firm Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel.
She will start at Milbank on Sept. 22.
She took the lead in the prosecution of Steinberg, a
portfolio manager at SAC Capital who was convicted for trading
on illegal tips about Dell Inc and Nvidia Corp.
Steinberg, who was sentenced in May to 3-1/2 years in
prison, is appealing, as are two other fund managers charged in
the same alleged scheme whose earlier convictions have become
the subject of a closely watched appeal Apps argued in April.
Those defendants are Todd Newman, a former portfolio manager
at Diamondback Capital Management, and Anthony Chiasson,
co-founder of Level Global Investors, who in 2013 were sentenced
to 4-1/2 years and 6-1/2 years in prison, respectively.
They have argued the government should have been required to
prove they knew the insider who originally disclosed non-public
information received a benefit for the alleged tip.
Some judges on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals during
oral arguments appeared sympathetic to their interpretation of
the law during arguments.
Cohen has not been criminally charged, but continues to face
a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission administrative case
for failing to supervise Steinberg and another portfolio manager
and prevent insider trading. He denies wrongdoing.
His Stamford, Connecticut-based firm has meanwhile rebranded
itself as Point72 Asset Management as it shifted to focusing on
primarily on managing Cohen's personal fortune.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Noeleen
Walder and Bernadette Baum)