U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Challenges Insider Trading Ruling

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Next-Move

By Matthew Goldstein and Ben Protess

When an appeals court overturned the convictions of two hedge fund managers last month, the ruling reverberated throughout the legal world and rewrote the government’s insider trading playbook.

Now, federal prosecutors in Manhattan are disclosing their strategy to reverse the ruling, or at least narrow it.

In a filing late Friday, the prosecutors mounted a two-pronged challenge to the appellate ruling. Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, is asking the same three-judge panel that issued the ruling to revisit its decision, which imposed the greatest limits on insider trading prosecutions in decades.

“The opinion breaks with Supreme Court and Second Circuit precedent, conflicts with the decisions of other circuits and threatens the effective enforcement of securities laws,” prosecutors said in a 25-page petition.

As an alternative, Mr. Bharara’s filing proposes the legal equivalent of a do-over in a process known as en banc. The process would require every judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to hear the case.

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