NEW YORK (AP) — A portfolio manager for one of the nation's largest hedge funds was sentenced on Friday to 3 1/2 years in prison for his insider trading conviction, though a judge cited his overall good character as he showed him leniency.
U.S. District Judge Richard J. Sullivan in Manhattan described Michael Steinberg as generous and thoughtful but said he must go to prison for serious "crimes that go to the heart of what it is to live in an honest society."
Steinberg, 42, was convicted in December of five conspiracy and securities fraud charges related to trades made on two technology stocks, Dell Inc. and Nvidia Corp., between 2007 and 2009. The government said those trades produced illegal profits of at least $1.8 million, which the judge said was "a lot of money to most people." The judge also fined Steinberg $2 million and ordered forfeiture of more than $365,000.
The judge said the "illegal procurement of those gains is something that has to be punished."
The trades were made as Steinberg worked at Stamford, Connecticut-based SAC Capital Advisors. The company, owned by billionaire businessman Steven A. Cohen, last year agreed to pay a record $1.8 billion to settle civil and criminal insider trading charges. Cohen has not been charged criminally but faces civil claims.
Steinberg, who fainted as the jury came out to announce its verdict in December, showed no emotion as the sentence was announced.