Alabama pension fund sues S.A.C. Capital over insider-trading claims

Birmingham (Ala.) Retirement and Relief System sued S.A.C. Capital Advisors, its founder, Steven A. Cohen, and S.A.C. units including CR Intrinsic Investors, claiming damages for alleged illegal trading by the hedge fund in drugmaker Wyeth's stock, now a unit of Pfizer Inc.

S.A.C. last month agreed to pay a record $602 million to settle insider-trading allegations filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the settlement, which must be approved by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, S.A.C. didn't admit or deny wrongdoing.

The $908 million Birmingham pension fund, in its complaint filed April 12, seeks to represent a class of investors that bought Wyeth common stock in 2008 from July 21 to July 29.

The U.S. charged Mathew Martoma, a former CR Intrinsic portfolio manager, with using illegal tips to help S.A.C. make profits or avoid losses totaling $276 million by trading in Elan Corp. and Wyeth LLC. Prosecutors said the case is the biggest insider-trading scheme in history. Mr. Martoma has pleaded not guilty.

In addition to the S.A.C. units and Mr. Cohen, the complaint names as defendants Mr. Martoma and Sidney Gilman, the doctor who allegedly passed him the drug-trial information. The suit filed on behalf of Wyeth shareholders follows at least two that have been filed against S.A.C. by holders of Elan shares.

“Any liability to these plaintiffs is fully discharged by our settlement with the SEC, and this lawsuit presents no new liability to S.A.C.,” Jonathan Gasthalter, an S.A.C. spokesman, said Sunday in an e-mail.