The hedge fund SAC Capital and US prosecutors have agreed in principle on a record criminal settlement of more than a billion dollars over inside trading charges, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The paper said SAC Capital could pay between $1.2 and $1.4 billion, the paper said quoting unnamed people close to the case. That would be a record against a hedge fund.

This would be in addition to a $616 million fine paid by SAC Capital in March in a civil agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Journal said.

US prosecutors say SAC employees engaged in insider trading on an a scale unprecedented in the hedge fund sector.

Talks among US Attorney Preet Bharara, the SEC and the hedge fund are also centering on the duration of a suspension for the firm and its CEO Steve Cohen, the Journal said, adding that Cohen has agreed to step aside temporarily.

It no deal is reached a trial is slated to start November 18.

SAC has been under the scrutiny of US authorities for years.

Several employees have been charged and some have pleaded guilty.

But authorities have failed to bring insider trading charges directly against Cohen, a Wall Street star with an estimated personal wealth of $9.3 billion. He is an avid art collector and part owner of the New York Mets baseball team.

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