Steve Cohen
Billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen is not implicated in the insider trading scandal at SAC Capital (Reuters)

Hedge fund giant SAC Capital has agreed to plead guilty to insider trading allegations and will pay $1.8bn to settle the charges.

The company issued a statement saying it "takes responsibility" for "a tiny fraction of wrongdoers" among its 3,000 staff. SAC also said "it never encouraged, promoted or tolerated insider trading".

The hedge fund will also give up its investment advisory business, according to a statement from the US Attorney's office.

Steve Cohen

Steve Cohen, SAC founder and chief executive, has not been personally charged with any crime.

Cohen is ranked among the 50 richest Americans and is worth just under $9bn, according to Forbes magazine.

In July 2013, SAC was charged with four counts of securities fraud and one count of wires fraud.

The full details of the settlement will be revealed in due course, stated a notice from the office of US Attorney Preet Bharara.

This settlement comes after a seven year investigation that intensified in July 2013, at which time SAC pleaded not guilty in a New York court to the insider trading charges.

Allegations from prosecutors had accused the fund of being involved in "systematic insider trading" that allowed it to make hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal profits.

Prosecutors said the alleged crimes dated back to 1999 and ran through to at least 2010.

Apparently SAC "relentlessly pursued" information on publicly traded companies which was used to boost its returns and fees.

At its zenith SAC Capital managed $15bn in assets.