Prosecutors in New York are seeking up to $2 billion to settle insider trading charges against SAC Capital Advisors, sources told The Wall Street Journal.
Federal prosecutors in July charged the hedge fund with insider trading "that was substantial, pervasive and on a scale without known precedent."
Since then, the fund's founder, Steven Cohen, has told friends and colleagues he would seek to reach a settlement with prosecutors. Lawyers for the firm have argued for a smaller settlement price, but negotiations over the sum are at an early stage, the Journal reported.
SAC Capital attorneys were also arguing that $616 million paid to settle a regulatory case previously this year should count toward the settlement in the criminal case.
The newspaper's sources said the settlement would include an admission of wrongdoing. To date, the firm and Cohen have denied an illegal activities.
Cohen has also denied wrongdoing in a civil administrative case filed in July by the Securities and Exchange Commission that accuses Cohen of failing to correctly supervise employees at the firm, a charge that can be filed if wrongdoing is persistent or widespread at a company.
That case is on hold until the criminal case is complete. However, attorneys for the firm are likely to seek a settlement for both cases at the same time, the Journal said.