February 07, 2014
Martoma Outsource
Posted by David Zaring

I'm guessing many of the readers of this blog also have been known to frequent Above The Law and the New York Times, but where can you go to see the two fonts of wisdom combined?

Right here, that's where!  Two questions posed by the Martoma case are: why on earth didn't he give up Steve Cohen instead of going to jail?  And why does the federal government spend so much time on insider trading?  James Stewart posits that the Feds probably thought he wouldn't survive cross-ex.

[t]he government revealed that Mr. Martoma had altered his transcript to improve his grades, and had used the fabrication to seek prestigious judicial clerkships. He was subsequently expelled from Harvard Law.

That alone wouldn’t have shattered Mr. Martoma’s value to prosecutors. Few cooperating witnesses are Eagle Scouts, especially when they have been participating in what amounts to a criminal conspiracy. However brazen, the Harvard episode might have been portrayed as a serious but youthful transgression by someone overeager to get ahead. Just because someone has done something bad in the past doesn’t mean they’re not telling the truth now.

But how Mr. Martoma handled the Harvard affair, detailed in the confidential report by the law school’s administrative board after what appeared to have been lengthy proceedings, may well have proved devastating to his credibility, and thus to his ability to cut a favorable deal.

And as for the second question, check out David Lat's Martoma by the numbers.  You can convict people based on making market bets that went south during the financial crisis - but you can't lose if you go after insider trading.  Here's David:

Here are some notable numbers relating to the Mathew Martoma mess:

  • The profits made and losses avoided by SAC Capital as a result of Martoma’s insider trading: $275 million.
  • The win/loss record of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and the S.D.N.Y. in insider-trading cases: 79-0.
  • How long the Mathew Martoma trial lasted: 4+ weeks.
  • How long the jury deliberated: 15 hours.
  • Gender breakdown of the jury: 7 women, 5 men.
  • Counts of conviction: 2 counts of securities fraud, 1 count of conspiracy.
  • Penalties paid by SAC Capital back in November 2013: $1.2 billion.
  • Current or former employees of SAC Capital (including Martoma) who have been convicted of criminal insider-trading charges (whether by guilty plea or trial): 8.
  • Number of “A” grades on Mathew Martoma’s fake Harvard Law School transcript: 4 (out of 7 grades).
  • Number of D.C. Circuit judges that Martoma got clerkship interviews with: 3.
  • Age of Mathew Martoma: 39.
  • How many young children Martoma has: 3.
  • The length of Martoma’s likely prison sentence (pursuant to the non-binding federal sentencing guidelines): 7-10 years.

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