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Ex-Dodgers suitor Steven Cohen implicated in insider trading scam

November 20, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Former Dodgers bidder Steven Cohen, shown in 2011, has been implicated in a $276-million insider trading scheme, according to Wall Street Journal.
Former Dodgers bidder Steven Cohen, shown in 2011, has been implicated… (Ronda Churchill / Bloomberg…)

Were you suspicious? Were you not just a tad nervous about hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen buying the Dodgers?

There were certainly reasons to be, even after local extravagantly rich guy Patrick Soon-Shiong joined the Cohen bid.

Some were disappointed Cohen was swept aside at the last minute by an aggressive $2.15-billion bid by the Guggenheim Baseball Group, a initially misnamed the “Magic Johnson-led group.”

Cohen’s hedge fund company, SAC Capital, was under investigation for insider trading during the bidding process, though Cohen was reportedly not directly under scrutiny.

Not anymore.

Tuesday the Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen had been implicated in a massive $276-million insider trading scheme.

Perhaps your economic Spidey sense was tingling for good reason. Now just imagine if Cohen -- widely viewed as the runner-up -- had actually won the bidding. The Dodgers would have gone from bankruptcy court under Frank McCourt to criminal court under Cohen.

More legal morass, more upheaval and uncertainty, and probably a lot more losing.

There but for the grace of Bud Selig, go the Dodgers.

Actually, McCourt’s all-American desire to sell to the highest bidder turned out to save the Dodgers from another likely ownership fiasco. They told you greed was good.

Now whatever reservations you may still harbor over Guggenheim, worrying about whether Zach Greinke is worth $25 million a year is a long way from worrying about the Feds knocking at the door.

Maybe Cohen is never indicted. Maybe his reputation is sullied awhile and he bounces back, as influential on Wall Street as ever.

But that’s someone else’s concern right now, thankfully, and not the Dodgers’.

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