NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lawyers for Steven A. Cohen's embattled $14 billion hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors, have reached out to U. S. prosecutors in Manhattan to try to settle insider trading charges, Bloomberg Businessweek reported on Monday.

SAC's overture to prosecutors is an attempt to strike a deal that would involve paying a fine of as much as $1 billion, according to the report, which cited anonymous sources.

The U. S. government charged the Stamford, Connecticut-based firm on July 25 with securities and wire fraud, saying SAC presided over a culture in which employees flouted the law and were encouraged to tap their personal networks for inside information about publicly traded companies.

Prosecutors simultaneously filed a related civil case against SAC, seeking forfeitures and money laundering penalties. Cohen was not charged as an individual, but earlier in July the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil administrative proceeding against him, accusing him of failing to supervise two one-time employees. Both of the employees have been charged with insider trading.

The Bloomberg report said Cohen is seeking to settle the charges against SAC and against himself.

Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for SAC Capital, declined to comment. Julie Bolcer, a spokeswoman for U. S. Attorney Preet Bharara, also declined to comment.

(Reporting by Emily Flitter; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)


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