Meet Chip Skowron: The Former SAC Man Who Just pleaded Guilty To Insider Trading

Joseph “Chip” Skowron III, a former FrontPoint portfolio manager, plead guilty today to a single count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and to obstruct a SEC investigation.

At first he denied the charges against him, but after the Doctor charged with tipping him off about a death in a clinical drug trial plead guilty, he changed heart.

Now he faces 5 years in jail.

Later, he might return to being a doctor, a career her pursued before becoming involved in a huge insider trading scandal.

In fact he might be much more suited for work as a doctor.

Skowron graduated from Yale in 1998 with a medical degree, not an MBA. He earned a doctorate in cellular biology, not in statistics.

He even began a five year orthopedic residency at Harvard in which only 10 doctors are selected for surgery training, according to the Wall Street Journal.

He wrote papers like “Cloning and characterization of mouse brush border myosin-I in adult and embryonic intestine.”

But three years into the program, he packed up and left. In the same year, Chip Skowron joined SAC Capital, and his Wall Street career began.

He was not at SAC long, the WSJ reports – less than a year. Then it was onto Millenium Partners and then FrontPoint and a $6 million mansion in Greenwich. At all three hedge funds Skowron was appointed to analyse and focus on health-care-related stocks.

From the Wall Street Journal,

Dr. Skowron traveled in elite political and social circles, as a major donor to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign… and a member of the exclusive Monticello Motor Club, an automotive resort and track outside of New York City. The club’s sign-up fees start at $25,000 and among the members are racer Jeff Gordon and comedian Jerry Seinfeld, the president of the club said.

Along the way, the 41-year-old husband and father amassed a collection of luxury cars that has included a blue Ferrari 458 and a black Porsche Cayenne, according to state records.

Skowron allowed his medical licence to expire but the WSJ found that he has applied for a new licence. It’s probably a good idea.

At first Skowron denied the allegations. His lawyer told the WSJ:

Dr. Skowron is proud of his work as a physician, investor and philanthropist. He denies receiving confidential information about the Achieve trial. It is unfortunate that the government has taken the drastic step of arresting and imprisoning Dr. Benhamou, an eminent physician, on the basis of circumstantial allegations that we believe are untrue.

Skowron was suspended, and later fired from FrontPoint. As soon as he was suspended, Skowron began pouring himself into volunteer work.

He was the national director of AmeriCares, a non-profit that provides disaster relief and care to HIV-positive children in Connecticut, but stepped down indefinitely in the wake of the scandal. Skowron says he carries a photo of himself with a six-year-old boy whose legs he saved in a Kosovo operation room, every day. As soon as Hurrican Katrina hit, he flew to Louisiana to set up a medical clinic in Baton Rouge.

Here’s what else we know about him:

  • Someone from Millenium Partners told the NYPost, he lost “a lot of money,” so “we fired him”
  • The tip he got was about someone dying in a clinical trial of Albuferon
  • The rabbi who blew the whistle on Skowron also tried to blackmail Steve Cohen
  • Skowron’s tipper didn’t want to accept money payment for the tips, though Skowron tried 
  • FrontPoint is basically liquidated after the scandal

For details on Skowron’s charity work with AmeriCares, go to AR Alpha >For the full profile go to the WSJ
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