UPDATE 1-SAC Capital pleads not guilty to insider trading charges
NEW YORK, July 26 (Reuters) - Steven Cohen's hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors, pleaded not guilty to insider trading charges in federal court on Friday.
The firm's general counsel, Peter Nussbaum, flanked by five high-powered defense lawyers, entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in New York.
U.S. prosecutors unsealed an indictment against the firm on Thursday, charging SAC Capital with presiding over a culture that encouraged traders to tap personal networks of contacts for inside information about publicly traded companies.
Government-obtained evidence includes "court-authorized wiretaps" and "a large number of electronic recordings," including emails and instant messages, Antonia Apps, an assistant U.S. attorney who has prosecuted numerous insider trading cases, told the judge.
"In short, a tremendous volume," Apps said of the evidence.
Ted Wells, a lawyer representing SAC Capital, said he was "most concerned" with obtaining statements that former employees of the $14 billion hedge fund have provided the government.
Several former employees, including Noah Freeman, Jon Horvath, Donald Longueuil and Wesley Wang, have already pleaded guilty to charges of criminal insider trading. No criminal charges have been brought against Cohen.