Expert sees a gathering storm for top fund manager
The massive repositioning, the SEC said, allowed CR Intrinsic and various hedge funds to reap huge illicit profits and avoid steep losses.
‘‘By cultivating and corrupting a doctor with access to secret drug data, Mathew Martoma and his hedge fund benefited from what might be the most lucrative inside tip of all time,’’ Bharara said.
The prosecutor said the doctor sent him a draft of the 24-page presentation he planned to make at a conference announcing the results.
That is when Martoma ‘‘had to do a spectacular about-face because he understood that — with these negative results looming — the hedge fund’s massive $700 million stake had become a terrible bet,’’ Bharara said. ‘‘And so, just like that, overnight, Martoma went from bull to bear as he tried to dig his hedge fund out of a massive hole.’’
The news caused Elan’s stock price to plunge by more than 40 percent. The price of Wyeth fell about 12 percent.
The bets against the drug developers brought additional profits totaling $76.2 million. That is roughly the same amount that prosecutors said former hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam made in illegal profits before he was arrested. The one-time billionaire is serving an 11-year prison sentence in what was once considered the biggest insider trading case in U.S. history.
A year later, a hedge fund employee recommended that Martoma be terminated, and he was let go in 2010, Bharara said.
AP Business Writer Daniel Wagner in Washington contributed to this report.