The exchange of evidence in the government's forfeiture lawsuit against S.A.C. Capital Advisors was delayed by a judge until Jan. 6 while the U.S. pursues insider-trading prosecutions tied to the hedge fund.
A postponement of the case is warranted until insider-trading cases against the company, as well as S.A.C. fund manager Michael Steinberg and former S.A.C. portfolio manager Mathew Martoma, are concluded, Assistant U.S. Attorney Micah Smith told U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan on Wednesday in Manhattan federal court. Messrs. Steinberg and Martoma face separate trials in November.
A federal grand jury in July indicted the hedge fund owned by Steven A. Cohen. The government also filed a related money laundering lawsuit seeking forfeiture of ill-gotten gains. The delay of civil cases while related prosecutions proceed is a standard government request.
Mr. Cohen has denied any wrongdoing.
Mr. Smith cited a concern that defendants would want to depose government witnesses who might not have testified yet at trial. He also said the stay could be in place until after the Messrs. Martoma and Steinberg trials are concluded.
Michael Schachter, a lawyer for the hedge fund, said Wednesday that the defendants didn't oppose the request for a stay. He said the government had already produced “multiple terrabytes” of information.
The judge granted the request saying that by Jan. 6 he expected to receive a letter from the parties about the status of the S.A.C. criminal cases as well as if lawyers in this case believed discovery could begin.