Pequot Capital Management on Friday fired back after The New York Times reported that Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating claims of insider trading at the $7 billion hedge fund.

"At all times, Pequot securities trading has been entirely proper and not based on insider information," the New York-based fund said in a statement, Reuters reports. 

The Times reported Friday that the fund, lead by 66-year-old industry leader, Republican fundraiser and philanthropist, Arthur J. Samburg, is being examined by Federal regulators for 18 instances of suspicious trading. While the SEC declined to corroborate the story, the newspaper attributed its information to attorney Gary J. Aguirre, who had led the SEC investigation until the summer of 2005, when, Aguirre told Congress, he was yanked from the case. Aguirre said that after issuing several subpoenas during the investigation, superiors pulled the plug on the probe after he sought to question former Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack.

"It is outrageous that the New York Times would print a front page story based on the unfounded allegations of a terminated SEC employee, and unsupported by any evidence," the Pequot statement continued.

Claims of insider trading stem from a series of trades through which Pequot bought shares of Chicago-based Heller Financial shortly before the commercial lender's  July 2001 acquisition by General Electric. Pequot allegedly also shorted shares of GE for a total gain of $18 million, according to the Times report.

Federal authorities have filed no charges against the 20-year-old hedge fund firm.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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