Michael Steinberg sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for insider trading

By Kyle Johnson,

Former SAC Capital Advisors LP portfolio manager Michael Steinberg was sentenced by a federal judge on Friday to three and a half years in prison.

The 42-year-old was convicted of insider trading and the prosecution sought a prison term of about six years, but U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan felt the former senior employee was "basically a good man," reports The Wall Street Journal. Nearly 70 letters were submitted by friends and family backing his overall good character.

Still, Sullivan said, "They are crimes that go to the heart of living in an honest society and having a market system."

Steinberg was found guilty back in December on one count of conspiracy for trading on confidential information and four counts of securities fraud. According to Bloomberg, he was involved in an insider trading scheme focused around tech stocks that netted $1.8 million.

In addition to his prison sentence, Steinberg must forfeit $365,000 and he will also be fined $2 million.

Sullivan, who is known to dole out harsh sentences, felt some leniency for Steinberg was in order due to the letters of support, some of which mentioned he was working towards putting together a charitable group to help supply medicine and water to Africa.

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