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SAC Capital Advisors

Making a Wall St. crime criminal

Making a Wall St. crime criminal

The U.S. attorney in Manhattan last week announced the criminal indictment of hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors. Some may wonder what is to be gained by the effort and expense. Unlike the case of hedge fund mogul Raj Rajaratnam, who went to prison in 2011 after his conviction for insider trading, here there is no body to jail. And the fine that might be imposed could be obtained more easily in a civil suit, where the standard of proof is lower. Indeed, the cost of the criminal prosecution may be duplicative since civil suits have been won for some of the illegal transactions, and more are in the works. But such skepticism misses the larger issue at stake in the SAC prosecution: Only criminal...