Monday, December 30, 2013

Billionaire hedge-funder and charter supporter Cohen tops Forbes 2013 scandal list

Cohen tops Forbes Scandal List
Net Worth: $9.4 billion
Nationality: American
Source of Wealth: SAC Capital Advisors (hedge fund)
What happened:  Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors in November pleaded guilty to insider trading violations while agreeing to pay a $1.2 billion penalty and to stop managing money for outside investors. The U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, described insider trading at SAC as “substantial, pervasive and on a scale without precedent in the history of hedge funds.” 

Back in July, I posted about scandal-ridden billionaire hedge-funder Stephen Cohen and revealed his ties to corporate reform and charter schools. I wrote then that Cohen and his wife Alexandria, turn out to be big players in the charter school world.
Through their tax-sheltered family foundation, they have given $35 million to "school choice" projects and more than $10 million over the last six years to Achievement First, Charter Network,as a way of pushing the development of  charter schools across Connecticut. Cohen, who strikes me as anything but a Robin Hood, is also on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, which helped spawn Achievement First. He has also given $40 million to support his six charter schools operating in the Bronx.
Today, Cohen tops Forbes list of the biggest billionaire scandals of 2013. At least he's tops in his field, even if that field is fraud and insider trading.
As the old saying goes, “Where wealth accumulates, men decay.” Events of the past year bear this out. Never more so than in the case of Steven A. Cohen, the billionaire hedge fund chief who has been reduced to running nothing more than a family office. Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors pleaded guilty to insider trading violations in November while agreeing to pay a $1.2 billion penalty and to stop managing money for outside investors. The U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, described insider trading at SAC as “substantial, pervasive and on a scale without precedent in the history of hedge funds.”

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