Skyrocketing white collar crime besmirches region

Southwest Connecticut is fast gaining an embarrassing reputation as the crime capital of the United States – not because it is rife with poor souls breaking into pharmacies to obtain drugs or desperate people robbing package stores to get money to buy food or Christmas gifts for their kids.
No, these crimes are on a much larger level and being committed by well-educated individuals whose high pay is often boosted by eye-popping bonuses.
Some may say that their brazen misdeeds – often garnering millions of dollars in insider trading gambits – are caused by workplace stress and the need to show results to their superiors.
But others take a more cynical view, saying those crimes are the result of simple greed.
The most recent allegations to make big news evolve around insider trading charges brought by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara against Mathew Martoma, former investment adviser for CR Intrinsic Investors, a unit of Stamford-based SAC Capital Advisors.
Prosecutors have said Martoma used insider information to make more than $276 million for his fund.
Bloomberg News has reported that this is the sixth current or former SAC employee to be linked to insider trading while working at the firm.
Now Steve Cohen, a Greenwich resident and chairman and chief executive officer of SAC Capital, is scrambling to defend his integrity and the integrity of his $14 billion firm.
This follows the recent sentencing of Westport resident Rajat Gupta on insider trading charges involving dealings with Raj Rajaratnam, who owns a house in Greenwich and is serving an 11-year term in federal prison.
There were a series of arrests and convictions in conjunction with Rajaratnam’s illegal activity at his Galleon Group.
Guilty pleas have been made involving insider trading that reaped $70 million at Diamondback Capital in Stamford and Level Global, a hedge fund which had offices in Greenwich and New York City.
In early February, Greenwich resident Joseph “Chip” Skowron was sentenced to five years in federal prison for an insider trading scheme involving Greenwich-based Frontpoint Capital.
The incidents of arrests and convictions go on and on, and based on a reading of the tea leaves more are in the offing.
Be prepared.