SAC Capital

Another SAC trader charged with insider trading

March 13, 2014: 5:39 PM ET

Latest charges offer more evidence that the case against Steven A. Cohen is winding down.


Steven A. Cohen

FORTUNE -- Ronald Dennis will likely be the last person from SAC Capital to be charged with insider trading.

On Thursday afternoon, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Dennis, while working as an analyst at SAC Capital and an affiliate firm, made or avoided losses of $3.75 million for the firm by trading on illegal tips about Dell and another tech company called Foundry. Dennis got the tips on Dell, shortly before the computer maker announced its quarterly earnings, from Jesse Tortora, who worked at a rival hedge fund Diamondback Capital. Tortora allegedly got the info from someone at Dell.

Dennis's involvement in SAC's insider trading activities was already known, and it's likely he cooperated with the government. Tortora and Diamondback were charged along with other hedge fund managers with insider trading back in 2012. Matthew Teeple, an analyst at an advisory firm who allegedly passed Dennis the tip about Foundry, was charged last year with insider trading.

MORE: SAC verdict: What it means for Steven Cohen

Unlike the others, Dennis appears to have escaped criminal charges. In a throwback to pre-financial crisis justice, Dennis settled the charges with the SEC by paying a fine and agreeing to be barred from the Wall Street. He neither admitted nor denied the charges.

The fact that the SEC is closing the book on a cooperating witness is another sign that the government is unlikely to bring any further charges against Steven A. Cohen and that it is winding down its case against the hedge fund billionaire. Cohen is still fighting a civil proceeding from the SEC that could bar him from managing other people's money. But he has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing despite the fact that eight other traders at his firm have been subject to such charges.

Last month, former SAC trader Mathew Martoma was found guilty of insider trading. The conviction led to some speculation that the government would revive its case against Cohen. Instead, the government seems to be packing up. And settling with a witness is just another sign of that.

Earlier this week, Cohen renamed his firm -- which has given back all of the money it held from outside investors but still manages Cohen's billions -- as Point72 Asset Management. It is located in the former office space of SAC Capital. You can send your congratulations cards there.

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