Try as they might, the feds haven't been able to slow Steve Cohen's roll.
Force his $14 billion hedge fund, SAC Capital, pay a $616 million settlement for insider trading accusations? He goes out and buys a Picasso and a second Hamptons manse down the road from his first one. Serve SAC Capital a five-count criminal indictment for insider trading? He throws a flashy party at his 9,000 square foot estate on Further Road.
According to Reuters:
The lavish affair, which one source said included delivery of $2,000 worth of tuna from a local fish store to Cohen's home, was planned before the charges were filed. A person familiar with the event said the party, attended by a few dozen people, was intended by the 57-year-old manager to show support for ovarian cancer research, though it was not a fundraiser.
What better way to demonstrate your commitment to philanthropy than by donating $2,000 of tuna to the 1 percent. At this point, Cohen's just a few dance moves shy from his own Scorsese biopic.
SAC Capital has plead not guilty to insider trading charges, which stopped shy of accusing Cohen of personal wrong doing. Hedge fund insiders told Reuters that Saturday's shindig was a sign of Cohen's "fierce determination to carry on business as usual."
But the weekend offered its own share of comeuppance for Cohen.
On Saturday, Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal congratulating his pal "Stevie" on his indictment. Byrne has been pedaling this "Sith lord" analogy since 2005 to describe the way Cohen and Michael Milken, the former junk bond king, tried to destroy his company through so-called naked short selling: "a kind of high-finance counterfeiting that, especially prior to the introduction of new regulations in 2008, short-sellers could use to artificially depress the value of the stocks they’ve bet against."
Last year, lawyers for major banks like Goldman Sachs accidentally released emails supporting Byrne's allegations. The Overstock CEO explained his need to gloat thusly:
"Cohen's life work is being destroyed," he wrote in a note to Business Insider, "I feel good. Shooting SAC Capital dead and throwing all of its employees into the streets is simply civilization scraping some dog—- off its shoe. I felt it was time I spent $100k on a derisive ad in order to say that."
I dunno. Think of all the tuna he could've bought for a hundred grand.
[Top image via Getty, WSJ image via Twitter]