May 28, 2014 / 1:50 PM / in 4 years

U.S. officials urge record prison term for ex-SAC trader Martoma

NEW YORK, May 28 (Reuters) - U.S. court officials said Mathew Martoma may deserve a record prison term for insider trading, a request that lawyers for the former SAC Capital Advisors LP fund manager called “outrageous.”

Martoma is scheduled to be sentenced next month following his Feb. 6 conviction for seeking confidential tips about a clinical trial for an Alzheimer’s drug, enabling billionaire Steven A. Cohen’s hedge fund firm to make about $275 million.

In a court filing late Tuesday, Martoma’s lawyers said a prison term of 15 years and 8 months to 19 years and 7 months, which the probation department deemed appropriate under federal guidelines, was “irrational” and “outrageous.”

The lawyers cited other similar cases in which defendants received as few as two years in prison.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan did not immediately respond on Wednesday to a request for comment. Judges may impose stiffer or lesser punishments than federal guidelines recommend. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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