Senator Charles Grassley gave regulators more time to reveal details into whether they’re miserably failing when it comes to investigating SAC Capital, or merely fumbling the ball. And the SEC didn’t want to comply with that?
FORTUNE — The Securities and Exchange Commission let Senator Charles Grassley know that the office will not be giving him any information regarding how regulators have handled referrals related to possibly suspicious trading at SAC Capital.
“As SEC staff communicated to your staff on June 7, in order to protect confidential and nonpublic investigative information, we generally do not comment on the status of investigations or related referrals, and, in turn, are not providing information concerning the specific FINRA referrals you identified,” Robert Khuzami, the director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement wrote Grassley in a letter dated June 9.
Grassley was unsurprisingly displeased. After all, he gave the SEC extra time to come up with a detailed report on just how miserably it had (or hadn’t) botched its investigation of SAC. In return, the regulators used that time to produce a five page general discussion of how the SEC handles suspicious trading referrals from FINRA that has all the excitement of a fourth grade textbook’s detailed look at how a bill becomes a law.
“This isn’t what I asked for, and it’s not an acceptable response,” Grassley said in a statement emailed to the press.
In the response that Grassley sent in a blast email to reporters, the Senator also claims to be fighting this fight for all the pensioners out there who may have money with SAC, a possibly no good (but of course, also possibly just fine) $14 billion hedge fund. In his laundry list of unanswered questions, he wonders whether the SAC-related referrals are “sitting in a drawer because the agency ignored them,” and whether “the enforcement system works or doesn’t work.”
He also reiterates that some of the referrals in question are a decade old and some are more recent. Even if the SEC has given up — which Grassley claims is impossible to tell without a detailed accounting of every piece of ground the investigation has covered — the lawmaker writes: “My staff continues to analyze the referrals involving SAC Capital, and I’ll continue to ask for answers from the SEC.”
The SEC is reportedly investigating whether SAC traders used inside information to profit on the 2007 acquisition of MedImmune by AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN). SAC and its founder Steve Cohen have not been accused of any wrongdoing.
Perhaps Khuzami doesn’t want to give Grassley detailed information about an SEC investigation because every SAC related piece of information that the Congressman’s office obtains somehow makes its way to the press. Coincidence I’m sure, but we all know that prosecutors can be a cautious bunch.
In any case, Khuzami will be pleased to discuss this and anything else, ending his note with an open invitation for Grassley to call the SEC bat phone.
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