The Securities and Exchange Commission”s investigation into Pequot Capital Management, the once-giant hedge fund, did not exactly go smoothly for the agency, and the Pequot saga reached a new low for the SEC Tuesday: The agency has agreed to pay a former staff attorney, Gary Aguirre, $755,000 to settle Aguirre’s claims that the agency wrongly fired him in retaliation for his complaints that higher-ups were botching the Pequot case in 2005 and 2006, according to court records and The New York Times.
Aguirre, a successful San Diego-based plaintiffs lawyer before joining the SEC in 2004, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Aguirre accused Linda Thomsen, the SEC’s former director of enforcement, of throwing up roadblocks during Aguirre’s investigation into allegations that Pequot and its chairman, Arthur Samberg, were engaging in insider trading. The agency fired Aguirre in 2005 — while he was on vacation — and dropped its Pequot investigation in 2006. But it turned out Aguirre was right about Pequot. Just last month, the SEC announced a $28 million settlement with Pequot over charges that it engaged in insider trading involving Microsoft securities. Pequot and Samberg denied any wrongdoing.
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