SAC Capital has agreed to pay a record $1.2B fine and to plead guilty to five counts of insider trading, thereby becoming the first major Wall Street firm to admit criminal misconduct in a generation.
The penalty adds to the $616M that SAC has said it would pay to the SEC.
SAC has also accepted a five-year probation, will hire an outside monitor, and has been banned from managing money for outside investors.
The deal marks a major victory for the government and the climax of an 11-year investigation that started with the simple question: how come SAC's investment returns were so good?
SAC owner Steve Cohen is likely to escape criminal charges unless new evidence surfaces. Despite the end of SAC's advisory business, Cohen will still be able to manage his $9B fortune.